I read the post sent by Statewatch in its last newsletter. I clicked rather out of habit/curiosity than anything else, but what I read, I found deeply disturbing. Please read the whole post before reading mine – you will then understanding exactly what I mean.
Those are extracts on which my analysis is based:
“Andrej works as a sociologist on issues such as gentrification and the situation of tenants. Outside academia he is actively involved in tenants’ organizations and movements that deal with gentrification and urban development. Using words such as ‘gentrification’, ‘marxist-leninist’, ‘precarisation’ oder ‘reproduction’ in their texts was enough to start complete surveillance (a linguistic analysis by the Federal Police later showed it’s most unlikely they wrote these texts). “
My interpretation is as follow: the police is simply using extensive powers not to do their job.
As a researcher using the web to find documentation (perfectly respectable by the way), I use regularly keywords. I also know by experience that what I want is NEVER EVER under the keywords that I type. In other words, the most obvious range of keywords will lead me to documents I don’t really have any use for. Anybody using the web extensively knows that.
I worked on an article about hatecrime in cyberspace – I wanted the UN Human rights committee decision on Faurisson – I typed Faurisson & decision and used google.com. The revisionist website of aaargh came up (it does not, by the way, if you use google.fr – the website is blocked). Now linguisticly, the website never uses any offensive language; the decision published should be questioned for its reliability because it is not the official UN website (even if it is not unreliable). Conversely, although I have not done personally conducted such research, those who look at websites from neo-nazis and the like all know that the obvious words of nazis won’t bring you many websites; that the most dangerous and scary stuff appear at random under the most unlikely headings (see Roversi’s book on Hatecrime).
Coming back to this post I refer to, what does it mean? that the German police simply should get a grip with technology and a tutorial on internet/google searches held by librarians could actually help them understanding the fundamental flaw of their investigation practices. They used words they associate with terrorism and terrorists to conduct their search, but no other ground work substantiated their analysis before they sought permission to wiretap!!! Which, by the way, shows also how clueless the judges are…
the rest of the investigation seems also a lot of rubbish based on assumptions rather than real facts. To suspect somebody because they don’t use mobile phones sometimes or do not say things on the phone or encrypt their e-mails can have several explanations. I don’t use a mobile phone; I certainly will NOT say certain things on the phone or by e-mail; and if I don’t encrypt usually, I certainly could do so sometimes, for security purposes because I don’t want anybody knowing. But that does not make me a terrorism.
If I were politically active, would the situation change? no, because my ideas of dissent do not make me suspect of mass murder, just because I dissent.