Protect us, don’t Spy on us

In our new venue we continued the tradition of asking our audience which award they had found particularly “impressive, surprising, shocking, or outrageous”.
Das Publikum während der BBAs 2018.

With just over a third of the vote (a good deal ahead of the second place, which received about a fifth of the vote, and the rest of the field), the audience award went to the winner in the Politics category, the parliamentary groups of the Christian Democrats and the Greens in the state parliament of Hesse, for their plans for a new domestic intelligence law.

Here is a selection of comments that our electorate left on their ballot papers.


The information of “the weak” is being handed to “the powerful” with a blank check.

Work is indispensable für many people in the current system, therefore incursions into personal freedom in this area are absolutely wrong.

PR & Marketing

Personally, this award affects me the most.

This had the biggest “wow factor” for me – my jaw dropped, in a negative way!

My city intends to become a “smart city” just now, this is being “sold” as something factastic by the Smart Factory – I wasn’t aware how small comforts can lead to such horrific consequences.

I want to feel free as a I move through public spaces.

Smart City is so ubiquitous and invisible, and tempting for smart politicians, that creating awareness for this is a really smart move.


Utter powerlessness and subjugation of users, without remedy.

This award is affecting me already.

My company is about to introduce it, and now I am dreading that even more!

As this is the de facto standard in business, and because people do not know anything else and many programs run exlusively on it, people often become Windows users by coercion. This company is one of the prime Big Data monopolies in disregard of privacy. It must be broken up!


Restrictions of the rights of refugees are too often accepted or ignored. This award is important as it focuses this blind spot. It is caused by the racism that is entrenched in society.

We must not give up our humanity!

The weak position that refugees have is further weakened by cynical technology and exploited for political purposes.

To run “first trials” of surveillance technology on people who have had such a cruel deal in life should make us extremely suspicious against those that try to use such instruments!

People that seek refuge with us are not inconvenient and potentially dangerous creatures that would have to be controlled, categorised and labelled. Human dignity is inviolable!1

Consumer Protection

Alexa would only be the beginning – look towards China.

There is still time to escape self-chosen surveillance and control. Action against Alexa!

Violations of the right to self-determination happen – mostly unnoticed – in people’s own homes.

It seems so harmless, like a toy.


Fundamental rights, which the state particularly should protect, are the basis for everything else!

To be able to justify total surveillance practically by saying anything at all, as the vague wording of this law allows, opens floodgates to the enslavement of the people by the state and surely also by business.

Politics should protect us citizens and not spy on us.

State Trojans – a full-scale intrusion on all fundamental rights.

I think it is dire how politics is not protecting us citizens, and criminalising us instead!

The ignorance with which politicians approach this draft law is absolutely shattering. Against all expert advice, the parliamentary groups for the CDU and Green parties are trying to whip through yet another surveillance law.

The diagnosis that the Greens are saying farewell to their status as a party of civil rights in the Federal States can not be disputed. (Hesse, Bremen, Baden-Württemberg)

How sad that the Greens are so readily sacrificing the ideals of the freedom and civil rights movements for a little political power.


A great evening, thank you very much! ♡


1 Translator’s note: quoted from Article 1 of the German constitution

About BigBrotherAwards

In a compelling, entertaining and accessible format, we present these negative awards to companies, organisations, and politicians. The BigBrotherAwards highlight privacy and data protection offenders in business and politics, or as the French paper Le Monde once put it, they are the “Oscars for data leeches”.

Organised by (among others):

BigBrother Awards International (Logo)

BigBrotherAwards International

The BigBrotherAwards are an international project: Questionable practices have been decorated with these awards in 19 countries so far.