Big Brother Awards Finland 2008

By EDRi · November 5, 2008

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

EFFi (Electronic Frontier Finland) gave out Big Brother Awards for the fifth
time in a ceremony held at Helsinki Book Fair on 25 October 2008. This year,
Big Brother Awards were given to companies and public servants who had done
the most to promote an Orwellian surveillance society in Finland.

The recipients were selected by a board of experts, this year composed of
political researcher Iivi Masso, professor Tere Vadén and EFFI’s vice
chairman Ville Oksanen.

Chief Inspector Lars Henriksson from the National Bureau of Investigation
swept the individual series with his speedy censorship of “bad stuff” on the
Internet with little or no regard for facts and the attitude of “never mind
the innocents as long as we grab some guilty ones”.

State prosecutor Mika Illman came second in the individual series. He was
credited with persistent efforts to limit the freedom of speech in the
Internet while paying scant attention to the principles of democracy, his
own judicial status as a state prosecutor and the technological limitations
governing the medium.

The community series award was hotly contested between the Ministries of
Justice, Interior and Transport and Communications. This year the overall
winner was Ministry of Justice with their aggressive promotion of “don’t
worry about your vote, we’ll take care of it” electronic voting system and
the rapid erosion of privacy and personal information protections.

The business series was swept by TietoEnator. Not only was their newly
developed e-voting system immune to the usual security concerns associated
with voting but also their auditing process was undermined by having
auditors from the Ministry of Justice sign NDAs preventing them from
disclosing their findings in public. Extra points were awarded for various
failed information technology projects for the government that have
contributed to employment in the information technology sector in Finland.

On the other hand, there were also plenty of nominees for the positive
Winston Smith Award. In the end, hacker Harri Hursti won the award for his
defence of democracy and free elections by studying and exposing various
flaws and problems in electronic voting machines.

Other nominees for this award included anti-Internet-censorship activist
Matti Nikki, data protection ombudsman Reijo Aarnio and MEP Pia-Noora

Previous Big Brother awards (only in Finnish)

(Contribution by EDRi-member Electronic Frontier Finland)