Statement für: My name is me

Die Kampagne My name is Me setzt sich für Pseudonyme und Anonymität im Internet ein. Die Aktion soll beitragen den Wert und auch Notwendigkeit dieser Möglichkeit aufzuzeigen. Daher mein Statement bei dieser Aktion.

My name is Malte Spitz

For almost ten years I have been fighting as an activist for privacy and for policies that allow everyone to use the Internet as they choose. For five years I have been doing this as a member of the Executive Committee of the German Green Party. I’m one of those politicians, making speeches, writing articles and traveling around Germany and sometimes around the globe. If you want, you can follow six months of my life and work online.

Sometimes you have to take action to make a political statement. In 2009 I sued telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom to make them hand over six months of data they collected on me under the German data retention law. This data I subsequently made available to ZEIT ONLINE. We combined this data with information relating to my life as a politician, including Twitter feeds, blog entries and websites, all freely available on the internet. This interactive map is the result. The project was awarded the Lead Award 2011 in Gold and the Grimme Online Award 2011.

In my daily work I try to convince people to vote for the Greens in the next elections, but even more, I try to establish a sustainable policy for our digital future. I want all people to be able to choose what they are doing and how they do it online. I want net neutrality and openness without a censor stepping in and filtering certain content. I want an Internet where people can check what kind of data is stored about themselves, regardless if it is stored by your ISP, your cloud service or your online shopping platform.

And I want everyone be given the option to log in and raise their voices with their own given names, pseudonyms, or even anonymously. All these things go together to make a digital future I want to live in. Being able to opt into anonymity or pseudonymity is a political question. I want a political culture where I can write a political comment without signing it with my name, just as I don’t write my name on my voting ballot. I want my political friends all over the world who live in undemocratic countries to be able to fight for freedom of speech, civil liberties or gay rights, without fear of torture or punishment, using the shield of pseudonyms or possibly anonymization. What would have happened in the Arab Spring if internet users were required to upload videos to YouTube under their real names?

I use my full name online, since I want to show people what I’m doing online. But I also want to have the option to do it another way, to use pseudonyms for private conversations or online usage, where I choose not to be known as Malte Spitz, 27, politician of the German Green party.

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