Civil rights apply to everyone. They provide a foundation to our understanding of a democratic nation based on justice and integrity by protecting individuals and private actors from the state. Although our civil rights have been secured and protected through Germany’s Basic Law, the European Charter on Fundamental Rights and the Declaration on Human Rights, they have been repeatedly restricted and limited. The justification for the reduction of our civil rights usually plays on citizens‘ fears and anxieties – to fight a war against terrorism and organized crime or increasing security by monitoring and controlling the internet.
The past decade is characterized by a rapid dismantling of both our international and national civil rights. Whether it be, the use of Verbunddateien to obstruct the separation between the police and the secret services; the development of surveillance technology making it possible to secretly invade our computers, trace our activity and interpret our communications; the decisions to digitize our lives through the retention of our previous and existing information; international measures to store years of our travel data; or a general lack of protection for the transmission of financial data, we have experience the loss of civil rights in all areas of our life.
I am fighting for a change in policy, one that strengthens, rather than limits civil rights; for a security policy that values the principle of proportionality; for a new security architecture that works efficiently with requiring new powers of intervention; for the provision in the German constitution and a modern, European-wide policy on data protection; for people to have the right against businesses and the state to obtain stored information and the right to have their data deleted. I fight for an end to data retention, not only in Germany, but also in Europe. I want civil rights to not only be secure, but also strengthened. Civil rights apply not only to those with a German passport, but all people.