TPC 43: The Cyberbunker Case

German prosecutors have opened criminal proceedings against the administrators of the bulletproof hoster Cyberbunker, which was raided by police last year. This is a landmark case for all hosting companies in Germany and should be of interest to anyone looking for privacy-oriented online services.

Today’s episode of The Private Citizen is a day early as I am bringing you an exclusive report from Trier, were the criminal prosecution of the owners and administrators of the Cyberbunker hosting company began yesterday. And there are also some new coronavirus-related restrictions in effect in my new home of Düsseldorf, which I am also reporting on.

This episode was live streamed via Twitch. A recording of the stream is available on YouTube: Part 1, Part 2.

The COVID-19 Situation in Düsseldorf

Today, the city of Düsseldorf has enacted new rules that mean that in some parts of the city, everyone has to wear masks while walking outside on the street. There is currently no scientific justification for this and guidance from health authorities all over the world currently would suggest this is not helpful at all. It probably also violates civil liberties under the Grundgesetz (our de facto constitution) and I think they know this, because when asked by the press, the city officials couldn’t even say how or if these new rules will be enforced . Probably because they know that, once they actually fine people, a constitutional challenge isn’t far off.

The Cyberbunker Case Kicks Off in Trier

I visited Trier yesterday to report from the opening of legal proceedings against the owners of the bulletproof hosting company Cyberbunker . This is a pretty interesting story in any case, but the lawsuit will also establish some important precedents for all hosting companies in Germany. Which might impact privacy-conscious services, since some of their users who value protection from law enforcement interference tend to be criminals. This then leads to innocent users, who simply value their privacy, to get caught up in similar investigations.

I explain the background of the case and its possible impact on hosting companies. This is a huge trial and is expected to take about a year to come to a verdict. And even then there might be an appeal or two. So I also consider this episode to be laying the groundwork for future coverage on how this trial develops.

Producer Feedback

Martin continues our discussion from the previous episode:

Hi Fab, I did not expect you to agree with that last feedback on the great reset, but at least you didn’t blow a fuse! When you say things like “why does the system need to change”, and “why can’t we go back to the way things were” (which you have said variations of several times now), you are displaying a classic conservative mindset – resistance to change. That is neither a surprise nor a criticism – you have said yourself you’ve leaned more to the right as you’ve gotten older, and that’s not unusual. It is simply a mindset I don’t share.

You speak of the protections of the constitution, but I must point out that the United Kingdom has no formal written constitution, and in my opinion is not even a democracy. It has an unelected head of state (who is not purely symbolic despite what royalists will tell you), over 800 unelected Lords, and can completely over-rule (or even abolish outright) the parliament of my country (Scotland) on a whim – and it is doing so. This may go some way to explain why I’m more open to the idea of radical change. The status quo is an illusion anyway.

Climate change is an unavoidable subject if we are discussing the World Economic Forum, because it is the key driver of their policies. It appears we are now looking at entire nation states being wiped off the map by rising sea levels in a best-case scenario even if the world meets the Paris Agreement commitments (and it obviously won’t). I won’t attempt to convince you of the reality of man-made climate change, but I will say that massive upheaval is already happening, and I believe the risks of doing nothing about it are far worse than the theoretical risk of setting up a totalitarian one-world government.

I do recognise that there are very difficult tensions here with democracy, liberty, privacy, the economy… our entire way of life. I share your concerns on these matters, which is why I listen to your show. I don’t have the answers on how best to make a transition to a new global system, but I do think the World Economic Form is right that the time to it is while the world is already undergoing enormous upheaval and economic shock.

As for the comment someone made about leading by example when it comes to climate activism, people have been trying that since the 1970s. There is actually a science film on YouTube from the 1950s warning people of the dangers of the greenhouse gas effect. People didn’t listen. People didn’t follow by example. Where I live people are upgrading their hatchback to a 2 tonne SUV! We are now past the point where that’s a viable option.

Enjoy the altbier – wish I could get my hands on some!

If you, too, have thoughts on the topics discussed in this or previous episodes, please feel free to contact me.

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Thanks and Credits

I like to credit everyone who’s helped with any aspect of this production and thus became a part of the show.

Aside from the people who have provided feedback and research and are credited as such above, I’m thankful to Raúl Cabezalí, who composed and recorded the show’s theme, a song called Acoustic Routes. I am also thankful to Bytemark, who are providing the hosting for this episode’s audio file.

But above all, I’d like to thank the following people, who have supported this episode through Patreon or PayPal and thus keep this show on the air: Georges Walther, Niall Donegan, Michael Mullan-Jensen, Jonathan M. Hethey, Dave, Butterbeans, Mark Holland, Steve Hoos, Shelby Cruver, Vlad, Kai Siers, Jackie Plage, 1i11g, Philip Klostermann, Jaroslav Lichtblau, Fadi Mansour, ikn, Matt Jelliman, Joe Poser, Dirk Dede, David Potter, Mika, Dave Umrysh, Martin, Vytautas Sadauskas, RikyM, drivezero, S.J., Jonathan Edwards, Barry Williams, silviu, MrAmish and Richard Gilson.