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Strengthening digital civil rights and liberties

They stand up for a free knowledge society: three people and their commitment to digital civil society.

Kim Berg, 02.02.2021
 A visitor at the digital conference re: publica 2018.
A visitor at the digital conference re: publica 2018. © picture alliance / Bernd von Jutrczenka/dpa

Markus Beckedahl, editor-in-chief of

Markus Beckedahl
Markus Beckedahl © picture alliance/dpa

He is dedicated to advocacy on the Internet of digital civil rights and the discussion of important questions about the Net, society and politics. For over 20 years, Markus Beckedahl has been observing how digitization affects society and politics. He has blogged about these topics on since 2002 and developed the donation-financed platform of the same name in 2004. The core team comprises 25 employees. also engages volunteers who research topics and write articles. Top issues include government surveillance, open source software, telecommunications laws, creative commons, and the free knowledge society.

Tanja Haeusler, cofounder of re: publica, Spreeblog and Tincon

Tanja Haeusler
Tanja Haeusler © picture alliance / Britta Pedersen/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa

Tanja Haeusler was working as a props manager in film and TV when she discovered her passion for digitization. She is now an important voice in digital civil society. Together with her husband, Johnny Haeusler, she started “Spreeblog” in 2002, a blog on political and social issues. In 2006 its journalistic quality was honoured with the Grimme Online Award. A year later, she, Johnny Haeusler, Markus Beckedahl and Andreas Gebhard founded re: publica, the largest conference in Europe on the topics of the Internet and digital civil society. In addition, Haeusler, again together with her husband, has been organizing Tincon: Teenage Internetwork Conference for digital youth culture since 2016. Its aim is to provide young people and their interests with a wide audience.

Michael Hirdes, chairman of the Chaos Computer Club

Michael Hirdes
Michael Hirdes © picture alliance / dpa

Michael Hirdes is the chairman of Europe’s largest hacker association, the Chaos Computer Club (CCC). Its activities are diverse. Since 1981 the CCC has been providing the public with information on technical and social issues such as surveillance, data security and privacy. As an influential hacker collective, the club organizes campaigns and events, lobbies and issues publications. The CCC has developed into one of the leading NGOs for computer security in Europe.


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