Eben Moglen’s Warning: Beware Of Media Consuming You

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By Monika Ermert for Intellectual Property Watch

Eben Moglen, a professor of law and history at Columbia University, made a haunting appeal to participants of the 6th re:publica conference that opened in Berlin this morning: Do not to fail in completing the fight for freedom of thought.

Social networks like Facebook, search engines like Google, or online shopping malls like Amazon are “consuming” the users. Governments, large and small, are eager to re-use the profiling, predicting and persecuting activities and passing laws to store these data indefinitely, Moglen said.

“They own our search box, we are reported everywhere and every time,” and with mobile devices always on it is “confession 24/7”.

“The Stasi gets some bargain this time, because Zuckerberg does its work for it,” Moglen said, and added Facebook is a data warehouse containing the thinking and behaviour of a billion people. Moglen also had nothing nice to say about Apple genius Steve Jobs whose death he said was a good day, as Jobs was a “moral monster” who disliked sharing.

Moglen said there is an ever-urgent need for free (un-surveilled) media, free software and free, not network operator controlled networks. Without such freedoms, freedom of thought will be lost permanently, he said. Moglen’s appeal got thundering applause at the re:publica, which has developed into the largest alternative internet-related conference in Europe with 4,000 registered participants, 200 hours of talks and panels 350 speakers from 30 countries.

Copyright, innovation, open government, the role of blogs and bloggers, reforms in journalism, e-health will be discussed in 14 different tracks. Neelie Kroes, EU Commissioner for the Digital Agenda will give her keynote on internet freedoms on 11 May. Moglen asked participants today to implore the commissioner to consider freeing content from academia for “non-surveilled” free reading.

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