cross-posted from:

Attacks on privacy by companies and governments have been going on for many years and continue to evolve. Even minor successes, such as greater adoption of end-to-end encryption following the Edward Snowden leaks, cannot hide the fact that we are on the defensive. Attacks on our devices and our infrastructure are being stepped up, and there are even calls for the criminalization of encryption.

Data collection, tracking and behavioral analysis are now part of everyday life. At the moment, a generation is growing up for whom it is “normal” that their data is available to companies, and that they themselves or relatives publish it on the Internet.

We consider it important to develop counter-strategies to surveillance measures. We group these strategies into three parts:

  • First, there must be awareness. We need to understand, at least roughly, what may follow from our actions.
  • What resources – technical and non-technical devices and software – are needed to meet the individual’s need for protection?
  • What skills – self-learned or provided by others – do we need to use the assistive devices appropriately?

How can we strengthen digital self-defense in these parts? Our suggestion: By building local privacy support spaces!

This idea can be fully or partially integrated into existing projects or serve as a blueprint to build new places. A privacy support space should develop into a point of contact that works with existing or new structures to raise awareness of digital self-defense – e.g., through lectures and workshops, literature, and outreach. It should offer tools and help to expand one’s own skills or to get to know people with the relevant skills.

Depending on the concept, it may make sense for this point of contact to be open not only occasionally, but ideally half or all day at fixed times in order to serve as a point of contact for a broad spectrum of people. This costs time and – in the current form of society – unfortunately often money as well.