Die Hacker sind an gar nichts schuld

Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren beim Deutschlandfunk,

seit Tagen berichten Sie immer wieder von dem Angriff auf die IT-Systeme des Deutschen Bundestags. Während ich der Berichterstattung bislang nur äußerst wenige technische Details zu Art und Umfang des Angriffs entnehmen konnte, ist mir aufgefallen, dass Sie regelmäßig von „Hackern“ sprechen, die den Angriff ausgeführt haben sollen. Während es nach meinem aktuellen Kenntnisstand nicht gänzlich auszuschließen ist, dass dem tatsächlich so gewesen sein könnte, halte ich es doch für äußerst unrealistisch, und bitte Sie, von dieser unbegründeten Anschuldigung in Zukunft Abstand zu halten.

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A General Prohibition for Teachers in Public Schools to Wear a Headscarf is Incompatible with the German Constitution

One of Germany’s worst and most freedom-denying pieces of law has become a thing of the past. Because of a mature insight on behalf of the responsible politicians to revoke unjust legislation? No way! This is not how politics work in Germany, sadly. Instead, the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany (BVerfG), one more time, had to settle the mess politics has left behind.

In a court decision from January 27 (1 BvR 471/10, 1 BvR 1181/10) that was published today, the BVerfG has ruled that legislation by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) that prohibited non-Christian teachers to dress according to their religious believes is partially incompatible with the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany (GG) and partially has to be applied in a restricted manner to be compliant with the GG. Continue reading

30 Years of E-Mail in Germany

Today, it has been exactly 30 years since Germany’s first e-mail was received in Karlsruhe. This anniversary was celebrated with a small event at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). A press conference was organized and students launched 72 helium balloons shaped as 0s and 1s that were arranged to read 0x4B40726C7372756865. (I didn’t actually verify this.) While personally I disapprove of such intentional and needless environmental pollution, it was a great opportunity for us to raise awareness for privacy of e-mail communication and teach people about OpenPGP. Continue reading

Campaigning for the FDP

Today (yesterday, actually), I was campaigning for the Free Democratic Party of Germany (FDP) at the Europafest in Karlsruhe. The Europafest is a public event organized by the Europa-Union and the European School Karlsruhe aiming to spread knowledge about the European Union and general political awareness to the general public and informing people about the upcoming elections for the European Parliament. In our region, these elections (May 25) coincide with the municipal elections so all political parties are currently double-campaigning. At the Europafest the four old political parties of Germany (CDU, SPD, Grüne and FDP) each had a little marquee to inform interested visitors. We have represented the FDP with a couple of our local candidates from about 10 am to 4 pm when the rain hit in. Continue reading

GNU Love Wallpaper

Since a couple of time, I am using a modified version of Alison Upton‘s colorized drawing of a penguin hugging a wildebeest as my laptop’s desktop wallpaper. Several people seeing this picture have since asked me about its meaning. Lately, a colleague asked me for a copy of the picture. Since the original artwork is published under the free Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License, I decided to share my modified version with the world, rather than sending out individual copies per e-mail. Continue reading

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