Living in a world that lacks digital sovereignty

January 12, 2021

Digital sovereignty

A statement about blocking an undesirable government figure:

I read articles like or and think to myself, Wow. Of course the Chancellor is right when she calls the blocking of Trump’s account problematic. And of course this discussion is very misleading in today’s heated atmosphere: the Chancellor will not mean that enemies of democracy have to be given a platform. Rather, it sheds further important light on the question of who is in control of digital media– . Similarly, we have already asked ourselves about Huawei, who is in control of our digital infrastructure.

The finding, that a platform locks out a political protagonist and that the legislator is grateful because of it, says after all: we depend on a medium that we do not have sovereign control over (*). In my opinion, the digital sovereignty with social media is one of the thickest boards to drill. But we have to start somewhere to understand, take hold of and develop digital sovereignty in a way that does not endanger democratic freedoms and the (analog) sovereignty of institutions.

We are one of many producers of open source software. Our software is transparent, traceable, controllable. The realization of being dependend on a platform responds shows: Organizations, from small entrepreneurs to states or federations of states, need to be sovereign with their IT and understand what I have indicated here before:

If you run your IT yourself, then you are the river – otherwise just the raft. At all levels, we cannot afford to be driven only by the big IT platforms out there. Open source software in particular gives back the freedom of design to large, trend-setting institutions such as states and also administrations. Take it, make IT as you need it! We from Kopano and many other providers of Open Source Software have the products to do so.

(*) in many places on the internet it is explained how the value creation process of platforms depends on aggressive discourse and how platforms thereby indirectly publish extreme opinions and – even if involuntarily – present them as accepted standard.