Press release: International Privacy Weekend “Freedom Not Fear” coming up in Brussels


Participants expected from many countries – Snowden’s leaks and EU data protection reform in the focus

After two successful years, this year the international meeting “Freedom Not Fear Brussels” will take place a third time (from Friday, 27 September, til Monday, 30 September 2013). Privacy activists and data protection experts from several countries and organisations will attend this unique combination of talks, political work and networking in Brussels.

Caspar Bowden, Peter Hustinx, Christian D'Cunha

Caspar Bowden, Peter Hustinx, Christian D’Cunha

This year the Snowden revelations (e.g. the cyber attack on Belgacom infrastructure by GCHQ, also known as “OP SOCIALIST”) have given FNF new impetus as well as the coming EU data protection reform, still hotly discussed in the Brussels bubble.

On Friday evening the independent privacy activist Caspar Bowden is going to open the self-organized convention with a keynote speech on the Snowden revelations and their impact on privacy issues. The following Saturday and Sunday will be filled with self-organized workshops, lectures and discussions, also including a surveillance sightseeing walk (not a public protest!) through Brussels on Saturday afternoon. Everyone is welcome to visit with us the European side of the spying business.

This year’s Freedom Not Fear gathering will be traditionally completed with the Monday full of meetings with politicians from the European Commission and Parliament, also including a slot with Mr. Peter Hustinx, outgoing EU Data Protection Commissioner.

“Brave Mr. Snowden brought to light the extent of citizen surveillance organized by governments and their secret services. With this revelation behind us, it’s good to have this upcoming weekend for discussion and networking,” says Michael Ebeling, one of the coordinators of Freedom Not Fear 2013. “But one thing is evident already: Things can’t go on like this. If necessary, we’ll have to talk about non-cooperation and civil disobedience in order to make a change.”

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Participating FNF13: Things that could be useful


  • Head and heart, a pencil and/or your laptop for collaboration
  • Your presentation(s), doc(s), flyer(s), sticker(s) if you like to share something like this
  • Your own cup for drinking (and anything else that could make our meeting more sustainable)
  • A multi outlet power strip, if possible
  • A beamer/projector for common use, if possible (we need 4-5 at all)
  • Your sleeping bag (in case of using the mass accomodation)
  • Your ID card (in case of participating the Digitalcourage slot on Monday)
  • Binoculars, tin foil hats, paper baskets, surveillance cameras, beam antennas etc. and an umbrella (in case of participating the observation walk)
  • Printed fingerprints of your GPG-Key (in case of using the Cryptoparty for keysigning)
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Freedom Not Fear 2013 Brussels – It’s getting hot!


Only ten more days until the launch of FNF13 in Brussels, the schedule is getting busier and busier…

The Snowden leaks and the EU data protection reform will receive a lot of attention during our three-day-event in Brussels.

But there are also lots of different lectures, workshops and discussions that have been announced:

  • Video surveillance / CCTV
  • E-Health
  • Export of surveillance technology
  • Drones
  • Net neutrality
  • Internet of things

On Friday evening, Caspar Bowden, independent privacy expert, will launch the event with a keynote to discuss what we have learned since Snowden and what this might mean for Data Protection in Europe.

We are also going to do an observation walk on Saturday afternoon, during which we will visit interesting spots and buildings in Brussels (important: this is not a protest).

On the last day (Monday, 30 Sep) we will have the opportunity to meet with politicians and staff from the EU bubble. These meetings will include discussions with actors at the EU data protection reform, with Mr. Peter Hustinx, the EU European Data Protection Commissioner, and Mr. Christian D’Cunha, responsible for the Data Retention Directive within the European Commission.

We would like to remind you that participating in Freedom Not Fear is free, you do not need to register (except for some of the meetings on Monday!).

Join our international meeting, be part of it, feel free to intervene and to initiate your own slot/workshop about a topic, that you are interested in.

But whatever:

You’re welcome!

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FNF13 – Yes, it works!


Despite the quietness on this blog – Freedom Not Fear 2013 will take place, not a question!

The wiki has been refreshed, the schedule framework been set up, the chance for a free or low cost mass accomodation rented, all necessary rooms at Mundo B house in Brussels are waiting for us.

Joining Freedom Not Fear Brussels was free and still it is – all work is being done by volunteers, there is no payment.

And there are much more topics to discuss and network about, than our weekend-meeting could bear:

  • EU data protection regulation
  • PRISM, Tempora respectively all the questions about secret services and their mass surveillance ambitions and how/if that fits to our view of a free society
  • surveillance and combat drones
  • video surveillance
  • upcoming EU investigation order

Freedom Not Fear Brussels lives on the people, who are with it, bringing in their ideas and life:

Come and join us! Everybody is welcome!

Graphics: FNF Logo provided by EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) – Thanks! CC-BY-SA

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FNF13-Update: Times are changing …


Ups … the EU-parliament changed it’s calendar and with this we had to change the date of Freedom Not Fear 2013!

The new date is:

Freedom Not Fear 2013
27-30 September 2013
Mundo B House, Brussels

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Freedom Not Fear “Winter Edition” in Venice


Unpatiently waiting for FNF Brussels in October?

No problem – visit our friends in Italy at their first

Freedom Not Fear “Winter Edition”
9 February 2013
Venice, Italy

We welcome this hearty initiative and wish fun & success!

Find out more at the event page.

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Freedom Not Fear 2013 – Save the date!


Date and space have been fixed, the new wiki page has been installed – save the date for upcoming Freedom Not Fear 2013:

4 – 7 October 2013 (Friday to Monday)
Mundo B House, Brussels


EU-Parliament changed its calender
New Date for FNF13 is:

27 – 30 September 2013 !!!

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Peter Hustinx at Freedom Not Fear 2012

We are glad to welcome the European Data Protection Supervisor, Mr. Hustinx at one of the first meetings of FNF12, on Friday early evening from 6pm to 8pm.

This will give us one more slot to talk and discuss about the planned new EU Data Protection Reform and its details.

More information in the press release of today (available in four languages).

Picture: “Peter Hustinx at a conference on legal transparency, Stockholm, Sweden” by Janwikifoto, Creative Commons by-sa 3.0

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Freedom not Fear in Australia

An australian initiative is going to join our international Freedom not Fear Actiondays. They describe their Saturday actionday plan as follows:

There will be speakers and workshops covering a range of issues, including censorship, surveillance, governmental transparency, encryption and whistleblowing. There will also be music and (council permitting) a barbecue.

Presenting an international website the organizers sum up their goals in this manner:

We want freedom of speech in a digital world. We demand a free and uncensored Internet to express ourselves.
We want privacy in the knowledge society, not surveillance.
We want to live in freedom, not in fear.

We agree! 🙂

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Freedom not Fear trailer

We have call for protest-video now.

Spread the word and join us in Brussels!

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