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Oscars for
data leeches


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BigBrotherAwards 2005

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The unfortunate winners are...

Impressions of the gala

On our german pages you'll find some visual impressions of the celebrations. Just switch to german language on the upper right side.

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Lifetime Achievement

Mr Otto Schily, former Federal Minister of the Interior of Germany For the current undemocratic introduction of the biometric passport, the technology of which is still immature and unsafe and which causes the whole population to be subjected to a police identification procedure normally applied to criminals. Mr Schily will receive the Big Brother Award also for his Lifetime Achievement, namely for the extension of the German and European surveillance system, to the severe cost of civic and freedom rights, and for his persistent efforts at eroding data protection under the guises of public security and fight against terror.

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"Saatgut Treuhand Verwaltungs GmbH", represented through CEO Mr Dirk Otten For collecting data about farmers, for taking thousands of farmers unwilling to give their data to court, for procuring customers’ data from cooperatives and clandestine test-shopping at farmers’ shops. The farmers were suspected by Saatgut Treuhand to use potatos or other crops from their own harvests for next year’s plantings. For establishing a centralised control structure for the collection of fines as a service to the seed industry.

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Governmental Authorities

The Government of the state of Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen), represented through the state's Prime Minister Mr Christian Wulff For destroying the data protection authority in Lower Saxony. The supervision of data protection in the economy is to be handed over to Lower Saxony's Ministry of the Interior as of 1 Jan 2006. This undermines proceedings by the EU-Commission recently opened against Germany for breach of contract through disregard of the EU data protection directive. The EU directive requires total independence of data protection supervision.

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The Generalstaatsanwaltschaft (High Office of Public Prosecution) of the state of Schleswig-Holstein, represented through Mr Erhard Rex For the extensive search for witnesses (who were then treated like suspects) through locating mobile phones. This is the first massive search of mobile phone cells. Phone companies were forced to disclose complete connection data for a whole region. Data protectors of the state of Schleswig-Holstein who wanted to investigate this case were denied access to the related police files.

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Ubiquitous video surveillance - several candidates The Big Brother Award in the category Technology goes to a number of very eager surveillance fetishists for the creeping degradation of citizens to objects of continual compulsory observation and playing down the consequences of ubiquitous surveillance.

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Consumer Protection

The organising committee for the soccer World Cup within the German football association (Deutscher Fussballbund, DFB) - represented by Mr Franz Beckenbauer For the inquisitorial questions asked in ticket application forms, for their plans of sharing customer data with FIFA and its sponsors, and for the use of RFID spychips in the tickets and thus the attempt to make this surveillance technology acceptable - directly benefiting a World Cup sponsor (RFID producer Philips).

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The Minister of the Interior of the state of Hesse, Mr Volker Bouffier For the "preventive" locating and tapping of mobile phones; for DNA-analysing child delinquents under 14 for use in future prosecution; for authorising Hessian police to scan car licence numbers even when there is no suspicion of a crime; for using video surveillance while checking identities of members of the public.

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Regional Award

Primary school "Grundschule Ennigloh" near Bünde and the banks "Volksbank Bad Oeynhausen Herford eG" and "Sparkasse Herford" For sharing names of school beginners with the said banks for use in advertising ("Starter Account") without parents’ consent.

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Die Jury 2014
Rena Tangens, padeluun
digitalcourage e.V.

Sönke Hilbrans
Deutsche Vereinigung für Datenschutz e.V. [DVD]

Frank Rosengart
Chaos Computer Club e.V. [CCC]

Forum InformatikerInnen für Frieden und gesellschaftliche Verantwortung e.V. [FIfF]

Prof. Dr. Peter Wedde

Dr. Rolf Gössner
Internationale Liga für Menschenrechte [ILMR]