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Archive for December, 2011

T3N: 10 Tipps für suchmaschinenoptimiertes Schreiben: Optimierung ist oftmals überschätzt. Aber bei PR-Leuten dreht sich immer viel um das Thema.

Für das Internet zu schreiben ist anders als klassischer Journalismus. Es geht nicht ausschließlich um das Gelesen-, sondern um das Gefundenwerden.

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A controversial document has been published by the European Commission DG informatics:

Inter-Institutional Committee for Informatics: Conclusions on document exchange formats following the discussion on office automation platforms

“The minimum requirement is to support XML-based revisable document formats standardised by the International Organization for Standardization, namely:
– Open Document Format for Office Applications, or ODF (ISO/IEC
26300:2006).
– Office Open XML, or OOXML (ISO/IEC 29500:2008).”

further

“2.2. As far as revisable document formats are concerned, XML-based international standards are the preferred approach. Given the fact that:
– on the one hand, OOXML is much more widely used than ODF at the moment, and this situation is not likely to evolve in the foreseeable future; and
– on the other hand, all the Institutions plan to migrate to office automation platforms which will produce XML files natively while providing 100% native support for legacy formats such as Office 2003, the preferred document exchange among the Institutions is OOXML.”

It seems to me the Commission had good reasons to keep this offensive document confidential for so long. Many persons I know are simply outraged when they think back at the OOXML standardization process.

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From today’s speech of Jerzy Buzek (EPP, PL), President of the European Parliament:

Today citizens’ ‘virtual participation’ is changing the world we live in.

Dear Friends,

Today citizens are much better connected. They are as well informed as politicians are, this brings quite a new challenge: how to ensure credibility in the decision making process? How to ensure trust for the activities of our politicians?

What can be the role of the European Parliament in this context?

Today a particular responsibility lies with the Parliament – it is not only a guarantor of the stability of the political scene, but also has the task of creating a courageous vision for Europe. Citizens expect that it will present such a vision and a new kind of European dream.

Reconnecting with citizens will help to give another, non-economic meaning to the definition of deepening and widening of Europe. Governance, free market, single currency – this is absolutely insufficient as a basis for a community. We need one more crucial factor – the most important one – Europe civic activity. As Jean Monnet said “we are not uniting states, we are uniting human beings”.

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No ACTA today

The item ACTA was deferred today, I am told:

The adoption was delayed as a result of the Dutch parliament vote on the mandate for the Dutch government being delayed. The ministers will adopt tomorrow.

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According to rumours – the process is kept clandestine – an Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) would be signed at the WTO meeting this week by EU member states, Commission and Council. 14 Dec 2011, South Pole Day suites for Member States to adopt the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in the Council although important legal usances are still open (which would be resolved by simply not asking the ECJ)

Anti-counterfeiting trade agreement
The Council is expected to adopt a decision authorising the signing of an anti-counterfeiting trade agreement (ACTA) between the EU and Australia, Canada, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States. ACTA is aimed at establishing an international framework to improve the enforcement of intellectual property right laws and create improved international standards for actions against large-scale infringements of intellectual property. Negotiations were concluded in November 2010.

I like their humour:

“The Council will meet at 15:00 on Wednesday to prepare the EU’s position at the WTO ministerial meeting, which will be held in Geneva on 15-17 December, with the aim of providing political guidance for the organisation’s work during 2012-13 and taking decisions related mainly to least developed countries.

100 years after Amundsen reached the South Pole in the Antartics our European member states sent ACTA on a mission to benefit the South. No, kidding?

Sure, an Medicines Sans Frontiers representative once indicated ACTA may generate some serious effects on pharmaceutical supply for their emergency operations in the least developed nations and patients’ access to retroviral drugs etc. But these effect he argued would be rather negative.

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IUWIS hat eine kluge Würdigung der Anträge geschrieben, die demnächst im Rechtsausschuss des Europaparlaments zu “verwaisten Werken” zur Abstimmung stehen. Verwaiste Werke sind ein besonderes Problem im Urheberrecht. Dabei geht es um die Werke, bei denen sich die Urheber und Rechtsinhaber nicht mehr ausfindig machen lassen. Gerade bei der Digitalisierung von Bibliotheken ist das eine wichtige Rechtsunsicherheit. Die EU-Kommission hat deshalb eine gesetzgeberische Initiative gestartet, die dabei helfen soll, zu einer Klärung zu kommen und die Rechtsicherheit zu erhöhen.

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Ein Positionspapier von CSUnet mit einigen Überraschungen. Zunächst mal, es heisst der CSUnet:

Der CSUnet hat als netzpolitischer Arbeitskreis der CSU das folgende Konzept zum 21 Themenbereich der Vorratsdatenspeicherung erarbeitet.

Am besten einmal das verlinkte Dokument durchlesen! Eins fand ich aber bemerkenswert in einem Umfeld mit dem Mantra der “Geschlossenheit”, das war der Ruf der Netzexperten der Volkspartei nach einer offenen gesellschaftlichen Deliberation über das Thema:

Der CSUnet ist der Meinung, dass die Speicherung von Daten einen so tiefen Eingriff in die Privatsphäre bedeutet, dass wir in den Diskussionsprozess um eine neue Gesetzgebung ausreichende Möglichkeiten bieten müssen, die Bevölkerung an diesem Prozess teilhaben zu lassen. Dieser Prozess muss von einem hohen Maße an Transparenz, Offenheit und Information geprägt sein.

Sachverstand auch. Ich erinnere mich noch gut daran wie in Straßburg die Vorratsdatenspeicherung beschlossen wurde unter dem Eindruck der Anschläge von Madrid, und die Abgeordneten die Brisanz der Sache kaum durchdrungen hatten. Die technischen Kompliziertheiten wurden dann erst bei dem Affenzirkus der Implementierung der EU-Richtlinie in den Mitgliedstaaten offenkundig, bzw. höchstrichterlich verdeutlicht. Kaum denkbar seinerzeit, dass ein so sperrig benanntes Technikthema so hohe allgemeinpolitische Wellen schlagen könnte.

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As a result of turmoil in parts of the German society on the appointment of Karl Theodor zu Guttenberg for her “No Diconnect Strategy” Neelie Kroes issued another statement in her blog in German and English language.

She eloquently defends his selection as her personal choice and explains the rationale. A German MEP from the Greens, Jan-P. Albrecht, additionally sent a bunch of nasty parliamentary questions to the Kroes office.

My invitation to Karl-Theodor to help me take this work forward is my choice, and it’s about how we can help people who struggle without the most basic rights you can think of. In the past I’ve worked personally with him, and I know he is capable of coming up with and delivering excellent ideas. I also know that we need someone with his international outlook and contacts to help us push these issues forward: someone who understands the highly relevant security and foreign affairs world. This does not preclude other people and ideas from being involved; far from it, I want to build grass-roots coalitions and capacities.

I regret how much the controversy around the representative Zu Guttenberg overshadows his important tasks given by the European Commissioner, namely to support connectivity and safe infrastructure for bloggers abroad. How important that is we learned in the 2nd phase of the UN World Summit on the Information Society in Tunesia when visiting NGO representatives and journalists were intimidated by the host nation, even during the preparatory sessions in Berlin at Humboldt University. I wondered why our German government did not provide any technical assistance services to non-governmental organizations. Their work in Tunesia largely depended on their ability to make use of advanced communication technologies.

Neelie Kroes raises the issue Zu Guttenberg would be able to cast light into the overlooked scene:

There are individuals who are so brave and resourceful, and organisations doing great work. This invitation does not diminish their achievement in any way; nor should it inhibit their work. Part of Karl-Theodor’s role will be to reach out to those people, to ensure that their work gets the proper support and recognition. And so I hope those people are able to share their ideas and experiences.

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Former German defense minister Karl Theodor von und zu Guttenberg serves as a lobbyist for the CSIS, a Think Tank in the United States. Today EU-Commissioner Neelie Kroes launched an initiative with him to help net dissidents abroad. Let me quote from the press release:

Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg will liaise with Member States, third countries and NGOs which are committed to work in this area and advise on how to advance the strategy in a co-ordinated and effective manner.

The “No Disconnect strategy” will assist people in four ways:

Developing and providing technological tools to enhance privacy and security of people living in non-democratic regimes when using ICT.

Educating and raising awareness of activists about the opportunities and risks of ICT. In particular assisting activists to make best use of tools such as social networks and blogs while raising awareness of surveillance risks when communicating via ICT.

Gathering high quality intelligence about what is happening “on the ground” in order to monitor the level of surveillance and censorship at a given time, in a given place.

Cooperation. Developing a practical way to ensure that all stakeholders can share information on their activity and promote multilateral action and building cross-regional cooperation to protect human rights.

The heated press conference (on video) indicates how her choice completely distracts from the substance of her proposal. Media coverage in Germany was pretty strong as the controversial former minister still polarises the public in the aftermath of his phd forgery scandal (which led to his regrettable resignation).

For his role Mr. zu Guttenberg just receives travel compensation from the EU which leads us to question what special role CSIS takes in the project. According to Kroes spokesperson Ryan Heath CSIS is not officially behind the project, however, it was listed as zu Guttenberg’s affiliation at the European Commission press conference. Zu Guttenberg emphasized to be based in the United States, and insisted his participation was no “return” to Europe.

CSIS not yet listed in the EU lobby register. When I expressed regret to colleagues that funding sources are undisclosed I gladly received the CSIS report from 2009.

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Einigen Wirbel machte gestern eine Ankündigung, die EU-Kommissarin Neelie Kroes wolle mit dem ex-Verteidigungsminister Karl Theodor von und zu Guttenberg eine Initiative für Netzfreiheit, für Internetdissidenten aus der Taufe heben. Gemeinsame Ankündigung am Montag. Schon jubelte das Nachrichtenmagazin Fokus vom Job bei der EU für den gefallenen Politstar. Auf der Agenda der Kommission steht er als Agent Lobbyist des amerikanischen Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

Als Bundesminister für Wirtschaft hatte er die Polemik der Netzgemeinde auf sich gezogen, als er für Sperrlösungen eintrat,während seine Frau sich aggressiv für Netzsperren zum Kinderschutz im Fernsehen positionierte.

Gibt es aber den fundamentalen Widerspruch, wie es die Missbrauchsopferinitiative Mogis in einem Brief an Kroes anspricht? Ich glaube nur abweichende Bewertungen. Das Eintreten für Internetfreiheit ist durchaus an die jeweilige Lage gebunden.

Wer Guttenberg vorschnell reine Selbstdarstellung unterstellt, und genau das wird am Montag in den Gazetten passieren, der übersieht wie in Amerika das Netz als wirksames Mittel zum Kampf gegen Diktaturen erkannt worden ist, und welche erstaunlichen Gelder in entsprechende Programme fliessen. US-Aussenministerin Hillary Clinton hat neulich drastisch eingestanden, dass die amerikanische Public Affairs-Infomacht im Ausland nach Ende des Kalten Krieges zu massiv reduziert wurde,- Musik in den Ohren von RIAS-Fans! Zur Zeit gibt es auf vielen Fach-Mailinglisten wie Stanford Liberationtech wieder einmal Diskussionen darüber, inwiefern man Gelder aus dem Verteidigungsapparat annehmen sollten für die Entwicklung von Verschlüsselungstechnologien und dergleichen. Auch für Amerikaner ist das eine ethische Frage. Ob unsere Digital-Kommissarin Neelie Kroes mit einer US-Verteidigungslobby eine solche europäische Initiative starten sollte, ist für mich gewichtiger als die Frage ob Guttenberg persönlich glaubwürdig im Thema ist.

Das werden die Gedanken sein bei der Kommission, nicht die ideologische Tauglichkeit des ehemaligen Verteidigungsministers. Neelie Kroes ist Pragmatikerin und bekannt dafür viel zu bewegen. Am gleiche Tag sind die Open Data Strategie und der Entwurf zur Reform der PSI-Richlinie angekündigt. Das ist für uns in Brüssel natürlich spektakulärer als die Kampagne von Guttenberg.

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