My Story

Growing up in East Germany with a Young Pioneer scarf, I could never have imagined traveling beyond Prague. Yet, in 1997, I found myself as managing at an eCommerce startup in San Francisco, suddenly on the Pacific coast and quite literally in a different world. The Silicon Valley crowd was an intelligent, stunning mix from all corners of the globe. Their enthusiasm and the internet’s innovative power made it possible for new business models to emerge almost weekly.

My own company, which I co-founded in 2003 with a friend, also experienced this rapid growth, fueled by our passion for the internet and cloud computing. Even then, I recognized the potential challenges in safeguarding new technologies and digital opportunities from misuse.

Early companies, now giants like Google, Amazon, Facebook (Meta), Apple, and Microsoft, have “attracted and controlled” billions of users worldwide through their product and service successes and network effects. They monetize user data and are shaping a digital world where privacy and anonymity may soon become obsolete.

Our governments and most politicians do not yet see it as their duty to protect our privacy and fundamental rights on the internet. Laws on indiscriminate data retention, the deployment of government trojans (Mass Surveillance and Human Rights Standards), and efforts to undermine secure end-to-end encryption (like Chat Control) are misguided and need to be reversed.

As CloudPirat, I champion human-centric digitalization. I am dedicated to a future that ensures security and privacy for individuals and businesses alike. Everyone should have the freedom to engage with technology and content cleanly and with minimal risk.

You can find more details about my career on my LinkedIn Profile.

My Story

Growing up in East Germany with a Young Pioneer scarf, I could never have imagined traveling beyond Prague. Yet, in 1997, I found myself as managing at an eCommerce startup in San Francisco, suddenly on the Pacific coast and quite literally in a different world. The Silicon Valley crowd was an intelligent, stunning mix from all corners of the globe. Their enthusiasm and the internet’s innovative power made it possible for new business models to emerge almost weekly.

My own company, which I co-founded in 2003 with a friend, also experienced this rapid growth, fueled by our passion for the internet and cloud computing. Even then, I recognized the potential challenges in safeguarding new technologies and digital opportunities from misuse.

Early companies, now giants like Google, Amazon, Facebook (Meta), Apple, and Microsoft, have “attracted and controlled” billions of users worldwide through their product and service successes and network effects. They monetize user data and are shaping a digital world where privacy and anonymity may soon become obsolete.

Our governments and most politicians do not yet see it as their duty to protect our privacy and fundamental rights on the internet. Laws on indiscriminate data retention, the deployment of government trojans (Mass Surveillance and Human Rights Standards) and efforts to undermine secure end-to-end encryption (like Chat Control) are misguided and need to be reversed.

As CloudPirat, I champion human-centric digitalization. I am dedicated to a future that ensures security and privacy for individuals and businesses alike. Everyone should have the freedom to engage with technology and content cleanly and with minimal risk.

You can find more details about my career on my LinkedIn Profile.

VISION

As citizens, entrepreneurs and responsible individuals, we can still help determine our digital destiny and advocate legislation and technologies that protect us from arbitrary espionage and restrictions on freedom. The following three points are particularly important to me:

“Everyone has sovereignty over their private data.”

“Our fundamental rights and laws effectively protect us from invasions of our privacy and from manipulation by companies, law enforcement agencies and other organizations.”

“Privacy by Design – is the ethical standard according to which hardware, software, applications and services are developed, offered and operated. It is the standard by which responsible and trustworthy developers, manufacturers, providers and operators are guided and measured by enlightened users/customers.

In order to realize this vision, I strive for team work an cooperation of all people, (e.g. activists and bloggers) who stand up for digital freedom rights.

MISSION

Join my mission as part of a community!

My mission is to convince 100,000 people that reclaiming their online privacy step by step is both sensible and feasible. A clear, engaging, and educational communication strategy is essential. Here are some approaches how I want to to achieve this goal:

1. Educate and Raise Awareness

  • Workshops and Seminars: Host both online and offline events to educate about privacy issues, safe internet use, and the importance of protecting personal privacy.
  • Informational Materials: Create easy-to-understand guides, infographics, and videos that illustrate how online privacy can be compromised and what steps can be taken to safeguard it.

2. Impart Practical Skills

  • Step-by-Step Guides: Offer detailed instructions on using privacy tools like VPNs, secure browsers, end-to-end encrypted communication apps, and privacy settings on social media platforms.
  • Live Demonstrations: Conduct webinars or live streams where you perform practical demonstrations on privacy protection to reinforce learning.

3. Build a Community

  • Online Community: Utilize social media and forums to build a community of like-minded individuals who are passionate about privacy protection. This space can facilitate the exchange of experiences and mutual support.
  • Collaboration with Organizations: Partner with privacy organizations, educational institutions, and businesses to extend your reach and gain access to more resources.

4. Highlight Success Stories and Benefits

  • Testimonials: Share stories from individuals and businesses that have successfully implemented privacy protection measures to demonstrate that change is possible.
  • Clear Benefits: Clearly communicate the benefits of protecting one’s privacy, such as enhanced security, reduced unwanted advertising, and a general sense of control over one’s online presence.

5. Provide Easy Entry Points

  • Emphasize Small Steps: Highlight that every step towards improving privacy matters and encourage small but impactful changes in online behavior.
  • Provide Resources and Tools: Make available a list of recommended privacy tools and resources that are easy to use and have an immediate effect.

6. Ongoing Support and Updates

  • Regular Updates: Keep your audience informed about new privacy threats and protective strategies.
  • Support Channels: Offer channels for questions and support, such as FAQs, forums, or help desks.

This website, the Self-Defense BaseCamp and the blog are first steps. By employing all the strategies above, we can effectively reach a broad audience and convey the importance and achievability of regaining control over our digital privacy.

PASSION

As Free As the Ocean

As an avid sailor, the expansive view of the blue ocean has always provided me with a sense of clarity and perspective. Out at sea, we may not have the power to change the wind or the weather, but we do have the ability to adjust our sails and chart our course towards our desired destination.

This philosophy mirrors my approach to advocating for change and freedom in the digital age. It’s about focusing on what’s crucial, moving forward step by step, and doing so with a strong commitment to ethics and responsibility. Just as in sailing, the key is not in controlling the uncontrollable, but in navigating wisely within the conditions we’re given.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. – Edmund Burke

One thing before I close. My work requires:
  • A lot of research and testing,
  • IT skills at different levels,
  • The talent to explain complicated things simply
  • Produce and update blog articles, videos and podcasts in multiple languages
  • Guerrilla marketing and social media skills
  • Networking with other NGOs and activists
  • Legal assistance
  • The planning of joint actions
  • A lot of political interference
I definitely need help with this. I am looking for committed co-workers who will help me to actively defend digital freedom rights and privacy on the internet. Anyone who wants to contribute or has the patience to learn to contribute is more than welcome. I’m looking forward to hear from you.

Knowledge Brings Freedom!

Have you ever been the victim of a digital attack? Have your logins ever been stolen? Do you sometimes wonder how much Google, Amazon or Facebook already know about you and whether this is still good?

CloudPirat offers professional support in digital self-defense and makes individuals and companies fit for the digital future on different levels. Together with his crew, he fights for our digital freedom on a political and social level.