31. July 2014

Something sweet from bitter Ukraine

by Heidi Beha

heidi_beha-2012-2015-modifiedJust for fun! Ten footballers from East Ukraine travelled to Germany

Oleg Sukhar – the tall star of the team – has brought a Ukrainian flag with him. ‘I guess we should really cut Crimea off the flag now,’ he jokes. Everyone laughs. Sukhar and his amateur football teamare on their way from Dortmund airport to Titisee-Neustadt, a small town in Germany’s Black Forest region. The news comes on the radio: ‘Merkel is meeting with her colleagues of the EU countries to discuss the crisis in Ukraine.’ ‘We went away to forget about the political crisis,’ Sukhar jokes, ‘and now it has caught up with us again! Someone turn the radio off!’ Everyone laughs.

Read more …


15. July 2014

Minority SafePack: what does this European Citizens’ Initiative reveal about the EU?

by Doris Manu

doris-manuOne year ago, on 15 July 2013, a request was made to the European Commission for the registration of a citizens’ initiative (ECI) under the name ‘Minority SafePack – one million signatures for diversity in Europe’ by Mr Kelemen Hunor, president of the main political party of the Hungarian minority in Romania, and Mr Hans Heinrich Hansen,  president of the Federal Union of European Nationalities.

Read more …


14. July 2014

Meet the Extremist

by Stephan Kool

stephan-kool-modifiedA small recap – about 6 months ago, I wrote about online anonymity and the TOR project (link). I wrote how online anonymity should not be criminalized, despite criminals who also use the cloak of anonymity for their actions and that the tool for anonymity was TOR.

But now a part of the inner workings of an NSA algorithm (the source code) has been published revealing that TOR is a “comsec [communication security] mechanism advocated by extremists on extremist forums”.  In other words, my pitch for online anonymity made me an extremist and the FutureLab blog an extremist forum. And since you’ve read it, you are an extremist as well. Congratulations!

Read more …


10. July 2014

A request to the new members of the European Parliament

by Daniele Mallamaci

daniele-mallamaci-modifiedI have a request to the new members of the European Parliament, the election of which has been deemed by the media as “the most important in the Parliament history” despite the abstention of more than half of the European voters, a large majority of them young citizens.

Read more …


09. July 2014

Why should I care about the Serbians?

by Lotta Schneidemesser

lotta-schneidemesser-modifiedThursday, 21 May 2014. 9pm, the Serbian Embassy in Berlin

The place looks more like a humanitarian help post or a storage space than a representative embassy:  hundreds of card board boxes are piled up in the hall way, the main room, along the walls, in front of the fire place, on the tables and sofas of the Serbian Embassy; the furniture is pushed to the sides to make more room; the walls are lined with bags and bundles and packs of water bottles are stacked outside the main entrance. Someone even donated a mattress.

Read more …