Member of the Board of the Polish Linux Users Group. Human rights in digital era hacktivist, Free Software advocate, privacy and anonimity evangelist; expert volunteer to the Panoptykon Foundation; co-organizer of SocHack social hackathons; charter member of the Warsaw Hackerspace; and Telecomix co-operator; biker, sailor.

Formerly President of the Board of the Polish Free and Open Source Software Foundation; CTO of BRAMA Mobile Technologies Laboratory on Warsaw University of Technology and a student at Philosophy Institute on Warsaw University.

Table of Contents

02.07.2016Dzień, w którym cenzura Sieci w Polsce stała się faktem pl 152 13.04.2015Needless haystacks en 151 12.03.2015e-Dockleracje pl 150 19.01.2015Ban on encryption is not about banning encryption en 149 13.01.2015Not Free as in Beer en pl 148 30.12.2014GPG Key Transition en pl 147 18.12.2014Siła wyższa pl 146 04.12.2014Internet in Poland to be porn-free after all? en pl 145 27.11.2014Block everything! en pl 144 02.11.2014Introducing: rysiek's law of unavoidable consequences en pl 143 09.09.2014Stop paedophilia en pl 142 22.06.2014Even with EME, Mozilla will become "the browser that can't" en 141 21.06.2014EuroDIG 2014 en pl 140 19.06.2014Hacker in the Digital Affairs Council en pl 139 30.05.2014Public consultations and anonymity en pl 138 18.05.2014Why being a pirate is not worth it en pl 137 15.05.2014On Mozilla, DRM and irrelevance en pl 136 14.05.2014Not-quite-good-enough-Mundial en 135 12.04.2014Irresponsible non-disclosure en pl 134 29.03.2014Ecologic, Ford and surveillance en pl 133 15.03.2014Otwórzmy edukację pl 132 10.03.2014Blurry line between private service and public infrastructure en 131 08.03.2014IM IN UR MINISTRY, CONSULTING UR INTERNETZ en pl 130 17.02.2014Encrypted VoIP that works en pl 129 11.02.2014So you want to censor the Internet... en pl 128 02.02.2014This is why we can't have nice IRC en 127 31.01.2014Decentralize where your mouth is en pl 126 30.01.2014A link cannot be illegal en pl 125 30.01.2014Copyright reform debate lives on en pl 124 26.01.2014Neat HaCSS, or let's de-JS the Web a bit en 123 27.12.2013Information Account Number en 122 14.12.2013HaIPu en 121 20.11.2013Friends of TTIP and data protection in Brussels en 120 19.11.2013Social media, Polish Pirates style en pl 119 05.11.2013A rude comment en 118 20.10.2013TEDx Warsaw Women and privacy en pl 117 03.10.2013Copyreform at CopyCamp 2013 en pl 116 22.09.2013Long-expected KMail2 rant en 115 18.09.2013Facebook for schools en 114 12.09.2013In which I call upon United Poland parliamentarians to guarantee citizens the right to Internet free of surveillance en pl 113 08.09.2013Complaintivism en 112 04.09.2013It's his own fault en pl 111 19.08.2013Lies, damn lies, and analytics en pl 110 27.07.2013Shortest Internet censorship debate ever en pl 109 22.07.2013How information sharing uproots conservative business models en es 108 22.07.2013Posts' markup is now available en pl 107 11.07.2013Kultura wolna i legalna pl 106 07.06.2013Internet is not a problem en pl 105 05.06.2013Libel Culture en 104 17.05.2013Wojtuś Fatalista i wolność w Internecie pl 102 17.05.2013Why I find -ND unnecessary and harmful en es pl 101 28.03.2013Wolność nasza codzienna pl 100 17.03.2013Nie wszystko korpo co o wolności w Internecie pl 99 15.03.2013♫ Odpowiadam na e-maile ♫ pl 98 11.02.2013One year anniversary of Anti-ACTA en pl 97 30.01.2013Nie ma haka na słabe dziennikarstwo? pl 96 30.01.2013Fighting Black PR around OER en pl 95 29.01.2013HOWTO: effectively argue against Internet censorship ideas en pl 94 20.11.2012Border conditions for preserving subjectivity in the digital era en pl 93 19.11.2012Social blogosphere en pl 92 07.11.2012Embrace fragmentation en pl 91 02.11.2012SERVICES.TXT en pl 90 24.10.2012Apple finally jumped the shark en es 89 24.09.2012Breaking the garden walls en es pl 88 24.09.2012Minister i Kultura pl 87 24.09.2012Melbourne CryptoParty video message en 86 16.09.2012On sailor's sensitivity, or "the starry heavens above me" en pl 85 22.08.2012Black PR around Polish e-Textbooks en pl 84 15.08.2012Regaty utracone pl 83 24.07.2012Hypochristian Love en 82 24.07.2012Some new Layout Goodness en pl 81 17.07.2012Party 2.0 en pl 80 16.07.2012Prawo autorskie po ACTA pl 79 13.07.2012Party as a system hack en pl 78 10.06.2012Are corporations dangerous only in collusion with governments? en 77 09.06.2012Proxies! Proxies everywhere! en 76 05.06.2012Automagic re-publishing from Twitter to StatusNet en pl 75 18.05.2012TPSA/Orange and GIMP, or a word on 5 users en pl 74 16.05.2012Słowo o Warsztatach MAiC pl 73 15.04.2012Schowaj gadżeta pl 72 05.04.2012Perfect ToDo-oid en 71 27.03.2012Subjectively on Anti-ACTA in Poland en pl 70 25.03.2012On copyright in Budapest en pl 69 23.03.2012Kościoła poczucie odpowiedzialności pl 68 20.03.2012Learning to Internet en pl 67 19.03.2012Kościoła wiara w wiernych pl 66 29.02.2012Brussels Safari #1 - EP press conference and ITRE en pl 65 21.02.2012Because ACTA is passé en pl 64 20.02.2012Privacy of correspondence, EU-style en pl 63 17.02.2012Polish PM on ACTA: I was wrong en pl 62 12.02.2012Anonymous vs Corponymous en pl 61 10.02.2012To have a cookie and dowload it too en pl 60 19.01.2012About ACTA at Polish PM Chancellery en pl 59 19.01.2012Free as in United en pl 58 16.01.2012Towarzystwo czuje się oszukane pl 57 10.01.2012Terms of Using the Service en pl 56 05.01.2012Corporate lack of patriotism en pl 55 04.01.2012Terroristcopters en pl 54 03.01.2012IceWeasel and Privacy en pl 53 28.12.2011Good Uncle Stal... Putin en pl 52 25.12.2011Useful Bash defaults done right en 51 21.12.2011Google Mail, or how mail becomes publication en pl 50 20.12.2011Occupy Gotham en pl 49 11.12.2011Copyfraud en pl 48 08.12.2011Multikino Wikipedia FAIL pl 47 27.11.2011Nie miejsce na pl 46 18.11.2011One-way cutting en pl 45 12.11.2011Tolerancja dla Kościoła pl 44 11.11.2011Users and Citizens en pl 43 30.10.2011Adhocracy and Net4Change en pl 42 18.10.2011War on Fun en pl 41 16.10.2011Boli mnie w krzyżu pl 40 14.10.2011Technocomplacency en pl 39 10.10.2011I Can Haz? pl 37 09.10.2011Election Silence in Poland en pl 38 03.10.2011Kibice i kampania pl 36 02.10.2011E-textbooks, Johnny Mnemonic, business and the Net en pl 35 19.09.2011CC Global Streaming/Summit/Party pl 33 19.09.2011Czy jest coś takiego jak darmowe śniadanie? pl 34 12.09.2011Faktycznie Super pl 32 12.09.2011Diaspora-Based Comment System en 31 11.09.2011Conflict of values en pl 30 06.09.2011Wolność słowa to nie wolność od myślenia ani od krytyki pl 29 06.09.2011On-line privacy and anonymity: case in point en pl 28 04.09.2011On being careful with words en pl 27 03.09.2011W obronie QR Code pl 26 31.08.2011Stolica Nie Tak Święta pl 25 29.08.2011Of malware, hot steam, privacy, using one's brain and paedoparanoia en 24 29.08.2011Kragen Thinking Out Loud en pl 23 18.08.2011Ból, blizny, dziewczyny i wiosła pl 22 07.08.2011Worst. Woodstock. Ever! pl 21 27.07.2011Willpower, productivity and cycling en pl 20 19.07.2011Neo FreeRunner as a WiFi Soundcard en 19 10.07.2011A Weekend with lawyers en pl 18 09.07.2011One step closer to ideal en pl 17 04.07.2011Apostasy in Poland en pl 16 28.06.2011YAFR (Yet Another Facebook Rant) en pl 15 19.06.2011Wiara w priorytety pl 14 17.06.2011Important meetings, fun meetings en pl 13 13.06.2011Ooops I en pl 12 30.05.2011Playing with Node.js en pl 11 25.05.2011Mozilla, Google and the Location Bar en pl 10 24.05.2011At Sector 3.0 conf en pl 9 23.05.2011Layout, CSS and RSS/Atom en pl 8 15.05.2011Startup Weekend Network Fun Fun Fun en 7 11.05.2011Nowy szef Bramy pl 6 10.05.2011World's Smallest Open Source Violin en pl 5 10.05.2011Po kolejnym spotkaniu w KPRM pl 4 08.05.2011Inspiracja na niedzielę pl 3 08.05.2011I horizontally the whole blog is that serious pl 2 07.05.2011I can has brag en pl 1

Friends of TTIP and data protection in Brussels

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I had the pleasure of attending the Friends of TTIP Breakfast Debate #4, about data protection, privacy and TTIP. What's symptomatic is that one of the questions posed in the information about the debate, was phrased:

  • "What are the dangers of data protection for TTIP?"

What is clear from this little titbit are the priorities of people involved in TTIP negotiations. Namely, their main interest isn't protecting rights and freedoms of EU citizens. It's getting TTIP signed into law. Well, at least now we know, right?

Anyway, I was prepared by a friend with some interesting questions, that were both on-topic and probably quite stirring (we're not great friends of TTIP ourselves). I was not prepared, however, for the surprise I was going to get.

Namely, panel speakers had many of the same questions!

The Panel: NSA, data protection and TTIP

The debate oscillated mainly around the question whether or not Snowden leaks and data protection are relevant to TTIP negotiations. There were some that claimed that these issues are separate and do not influence one another (namely, EPP MEP Axel Voss and Erica Mann, a Socialist MEP turned Facebook lobbyist). Mrs Mann went as far as to say that mixing privacy, data protection and TTIP discussions is dangerous. Mr Voss acknowledged however that safe harbour has its weaknesses.

Mrs Mann also stated, to my amusement, that "big ICT companies, like Facebook, are as European as they are American, as they operate here and have a lot of users here" and that there are already several EU companies building upon the infrastructure of Facebook (so, "Facebook is good for EU business" argument).

Kostas Rossoglou, a senior legal officer at BEUC, took a firm stance that data protection is a crucial topic for TTIP negotiations. Or, rather, that data protection is not for negotiations, as privacy is considered a human right in the EU, and cannot be waived in a trade treaty.

In no uncertain terms Mr Rossoglou stated that TTIP cannot be allowed to weaken existing EU consumer and data protection regulations, that arbitration processes regarding data protection and safe harbour are ineffective, and that it's clear that the NSA scandal is connected both with data protection and TTIP — after all, how can we trust self-regulation by companies that have already broken our trust (by giving away users' data to three-letter agencies, regardless whether it was legal in the USA or not)?

The conclusion is simple: safe harbour has proven ineffective at protecting EU citizens rights by being a de facto free pass for US companies and US agencies to work-around the EU personal data protection regulations, and US and EU privacy protection systems seem to be irreconcilable.

Rainer Koch, of Deutsche Telekom (and the fourth person in the panel) didn't have much to say about data protection and privacy, being more interested in competitiveness that TTIP purportedly would strengthen.

Question time!

Then there were questions from the public. Several people spoke; notably, a representative of the European Commission commented on the topic by stating that NSA and data protection are not, in their opinion, topics related to TTIP, as TTIP negotiations are not concerned with fundamental rights (that's an interesting take on the fact that TTIP simply seems to ignore data protection and privacy as fundamental human rights in the EU).

There was also a person from the US Department of Trade (the US party to the negotiations), explaining how well the arbitration actually works (hint: nope, it doesn't, as a private citizen to actually start an arbitration process has to pay several hundreds of dollars, not returnable).

Many of questions I wanted to ask had already been brought up by Mr Rossoglou, but I still had a few up my sleeve:

Secrecy of negotiations

Around 5000 amendments, 100 compromise positions, but still 0 documents the public can read; how can TTIP have legitimacy when negotiated in such an opaque, non-transparent manner? I seem to remember other trade agreement that had been negotiated in secret...

To my surprise all the panelists agreed that more transparency is required. That's a big step. Now we just have to make them follow up on that with concrete actions...

Facebook controls the economy

While many EU companies build upon Facebook, the power dynamic is extremely one-way — Facebook can unilaterally kill the whole industry with a stroke of a pen (just as Twitter has). Which European company has been represented in similar meetings in the US? Why isn't there a European company here to support TTIP?

Of course, I had missed Deutsche Telekom's participation to the panel, so I immediately retracted the last part — but the main question still stands. How can Facebook claim to be a boon to the economy if it can kill a whole branch of ICT market just by changing their API policy?

Does Facebook share as much with EU security agencies?

Do american companies whom Mrs Mann claims to be as European as American share as much data with European security agencies as they apparently do with NSA?

Mrs Mann's reply was "we only give data upon legal request" — which leaves us to wonder if they heed such "legal" requests also in Belarus, Russia, China and Iran? After all, these countries also have courts and court orders, right?..

Facebook mixes the discussions itself

How can you claim, Mrs Mann, that privacy, data protection and TTIP topics are dangerous to mix while working for a company that actually builds its business model on this very mix? Private citizen data are your trade secrets! There was a time when Facebook didn't even want to give users' data to users that created the content themselves!

Somehow Mrs Mann was not willing to reply to this question.


During the wrap-up panel session all the panelists agreed that more transparency is needed. What was remarkable was that Mr Voss said that TTIP can be a good used to renegotiate safe harbour, and that the US has to understand how important an issue personal data protection and privacy is in EU, and has to acknowledge that, as apparently the US government does not respect EU privacy regulations; that deep-mining and analysing data taken by US government from Internet giants is simply not acceptable; and that safe harbour has to be improved, "otherwise we are not willing to go forward as we have in the past."

These are some strong words, strong positions on important issues that seem so much better than what we had heard during the ACTA process. Hopefully they will influence the policy in the right way.