Some of our activities

9 Questions about politics for an information society (Oct 4, 2002)

The upcoming elections in Austria will have great importance on how law and information technology interact. So we have asked some important questions of the seven parties, in order to provide people with a base for their decision in the election. Here are the details.
Neun Fragen

International conference "Liberties lost!" (October 25, 2002)

On Friday, October 25, q/uintessenz and VIBE!AT run the first Central European Cyber Liberties Conference (CECLC) in the Viennese Museumsquartier. Wellknown civil liberties activists will report on endangered and already lost civil rights on the Internet and on potential counter strategies.

VIBE!AT is proudly hosting Meryem Marzouki (IRIS, EDRi), Maurice Wessling, (chairman of the board of EDRi) and Daniel Boos from the Swiss Internet User Group (SIUG).

Big Brother Awards Austria 2002 (October 26, 2002)

As in the last three years, VIBE!AT and other participating organisations present the Big Brother Awards Austria on October 26. Since 1999, when Austria was the only place in continental Europe to offer these awards, the list of other national events has grown strongly - which is not at all remarkable, given the traditions set by the successful events in 2000 and 2001.

Never before has the amount of private and governmental surveillance grown as badly as today. Never before has it been as important to resist against this trend.

This is the list of nominees, and that's the winners of the BBAA 2002.
BBAA 2002

VIBE!AT takes over management of  (June 21, 2002)

The management of, the domain for private Austrian Internet Users, is handed over to the Austrian Internet community. The free service, previously provided by KPNQwest (formerly EUnet resp. PING) is from now on managed by VIBE!AT, the Austrian Association for Internet Users. The main goal of this move is to keep the service independent and free of charge in the future. Please read our press release or have a look at the website.

No Arbitrary Military Access to User Data!  (June 18, 2002)

By accepting a sudden amendment to the military authority law, brought in and voted for by the government parties, military staff shall be granted immediate and cost-free access to the user data of public telecommunication services (telephony, mobile phone, internet). VIBE!AT judges this procedure and the contents of the resolution as extremely precarious for several reasons.

Civil Rights for the Internet  (June 8, 2002)

On June 8, 2002, European Digital Rights (EDRi), an international civil rights organization for the internet, was founded in Berlin, Germany. Ten organizations from seven European Union countries, including VIBE!AT, joined forces in an effort to defend the rights of european citizens in the digital era of information and communication technology. Please read our common press release.

RIS gone? The RIS (Law Information System) may lose its foundation!

The Austrian Chancellor's Office wants to abolish the regulation of RIS by law, which governs the operation and free public access to the RIS. VIBE!AT strongly disagrees and proposes that RIS's regulation be kept as it is.
Bitte Münze einwerfen

An open letter on Opposition to Data Retention  (May 2002)

In an open letter addressed to the members of the European Parliament, more than fourty international civil rights organizations express their opposition to weakening data privacy. The European Parliament is said to vote upon a proposal that would permit unrestricted logging of connection data of any kind of electronic transmission. You may want to sign the open letter until June, 30. In an updated press release, GILC and EPIC among nearly sixty other global civil rights organizations, dramatically show the consequences of such practics.
SOS Privacy

A careful 'Yes' to the Cybercrime Convention  (April 2002)

Only one month was the timeframe for interested parties to comment on the draft of the so-called Strafrechtsänderungsgesetz 2002, that puts the controversial cybercrime convention into national law. While VIBE!AT commented on the draft, quintessenz, Chaosnahe Gruppe Wien and fully agreed with our statement. ARGE Daten themselves wrote their own comment.

Save private copying!

The right to produce copies for private use must not be abolished! A democratic information society needs modern copyright law which guarantees participation in cultural life and freedom of information and speech. To achieve this goal, a fair balance of interests regarding copyright and intellectual property must be found. VIBE!AT has joined the proponents of; jointly we request that private copying be kept allowed also in the realm of bits and bytes.

Domain conflicts: an optimal judgement system?, the organization governing the Austrian domain namespace is planning to introduce a conflict resolution system. VIBE!AT submitted this comment on the proposed system.

Update: on April 30 2002, Barbara Haindl of gave a draft of changes and upcoming work on the conflict resolution system on a mailing list.

new The conflict resolution system will probably be activated by Jan 1 2003, according to the website.

NGO letter to the European Union concerning privacy  (November 2001)

As a reaction on US president Bush's demand to the European Union to order unlimited mandatory logfile keeping for all European ISPs, several NGOs (EPIC, ACLU, CDT, EFF and also VIBE!AT) wrote an open letter to Mr. Verhofstadt, the president of the european union council of ministers. Read more...

Big Brother Awards Austria 2001  (October 26, 2001)

Cameras in the subway, cameras in front of public and private buildings, cameras at ATMs - they all wait for us urban cockroaches - everywhere we stand in bright light. The Big Brother has many names. We named them on October, 26.

For the third time now, VIBE!AT together with many other Austrian organizations arranged the "Big Brother Party" event in Vienna's FLEX, where the "winners" of this year's Big Brother Awards Austria were presented.
BBAA 2001

The right to get unsolicited e-mail advertisements

Dr. Hubert Pirker, Austrian Member of the European Parliament and of its "Committee on Citizens' Freedoms and Rights" concludes: "Within the area of electronic advertisement, the consumer shall have the possibility of first getting all information and then deciding whether or not he would like to receive this information any longer." - We consumers want to thank him for generously granting us this right. Do we? No, not really. Instead, VIBE!AT wrote an open letter with lots of arguments supporting our point of view against Opt-Out. If you understand German, you can read the letter and some background information.
No Waste

Keysign site Key signing party  (October 25, 2001)

Together with LUGA, VIBE!AT organizes a key signing party on the eve of this year's Austrian Big Brother Awards. Though the meeting takes place at one of Vienna's most popular beer restaurants, the Centimeter, and the following Friday is Austria's national holiday, the emphasis however is not on party, but on signing as many PGP keys as possible.

The goal is to verify the identity of any given person and publicly confirm the authenticity of the corresponding PGP public key, thus weaving the Web of Trust more tightly. This helps us all in checking the validity of other peoples' PGP keys that we do not know personal. There is more event information at Robert Waldner's keysign site. (German)

Linux Security Basics  (September 15, 2001)

It is now the time of year when school begins, so we also take our seats in a virtual classroom for an insight on the mysteries of *nix security. In a public workshop at the Vienna University of Technology, our security expert Christian Mock will present information and show methods on how to tighten security on *nix like systems. More information... (German)

teaching penguin

Statement on the Austrian E-Commerce act  ("ECG")

VIBE!AT comments on the draft of the Austrian E-Commerce act. The comment was sent by snail mail to the ministry of justice and other addressees on August 24th, 2001. If you understand German you can read the statement in either HTML or PDF format.


Austrian Surveillance Ordinance draft  ("UeVO")

VIBE!AT offers you the opportunity to take a first look at a draft version of the so called "surveillance ordinance". Alternately, there are also German HTML and PDF (2.013 KB) versions available for your examination.


Big Brother Awards Austria Big Brother Awards 2000 - Austria

Together with other Austrian organizations, VIBE!AT stages the "Big Brother Awards Austria" and awards those unwanted prizes on Oct 26th, 2000, during the "Big Brother Party" in the Viennese FLEX. This event is open to the public.

The awards honours persons, organizations, authorities and companies who distinguished themselves by misusing personal data. You can nominate candidates in the following categories: "Business and Finances", "Politics", "Authorities and Administration", "Communications", "Lifetime Award" and "People's Choice" at Big Brother Awards Candidates. Closing date is Oct 16, 2000.

NO ePATENTS! VIBE!AT against software patents

One might suppose the hair-raising patent situation in the US acts as a deterrent. Wrong! Europe gets ready to legalize software as a patentable application despite its detrimental effects on innovation and competition. In our opinion even the patent law at the present moment does harm the software sector more than it is of use. For the consumer that goes without saying.

When the world's second largest software publisher admits that they are spending money on software patents only to deter other software companies from suing them for patent infringment, that tells everything.

Even by doing extensive patent research, programmers can't protect themselves against the danger of involuntarily infringing on someone else's patent. Publishing one's source code is tantamount to playing russian roulette. On the other hand the European Council puts down a desirable utilization of open souce software in writing: Actionplan eEurope 2002 is intended to promote OSS as well.

VIBE!AT therefore asks you to sign the "Petition for a Software Patent Free Europe". Read more on this topic in our common press release from Dec. 1999.

Privacy First Anonymous Remailer in Austria

Anonymous Remailers allow you to send E-Mail or participate in Newsgroups without revealing your identity, thus enabling you to protect your privacy. Please read the Anonymous Remailer FAQ, the Mixmaster FAQ and Prospects for Remailers for further information about remailers.

The first anonymous remailer in Austria is run by security expert Christian Mock of VIBE!AT in cooperation with Internetprovider Karrer und Partner, Linz.

Send E-Mail with the subject "remailer-help" to for help.

DVD for every OS In Defense of Free Speech on the Internet

We, the undersigned members of the Global Internet Liberty Campaign - a coalition of more than 50 civil liberty groups worldwide - believe that the lawsuit of the Digital Versatile Disc Copy Control Association [DVD-CCA] against dozens of people worldwide may have a severe and harmful impact on free expression. Full story ...

GILC VIBE!AT is a new member of GILC

On January 6th, VIBE!AT has been admitted as a member to GILC - Global Internet Liberty Campaign. (GILC Principles)


A legal report on ENFOPOL was published by the Forum Mobile Communication on November 30th, 1999. VIBE!AT took this as a reason to formulate a statement about this concept for eavesdropping. The ISPA has also published a press statement on this. The ORF Futurezone and Pressetext Austria covered this as well.

BigBrother Awards Austria Big Brother Awards Austria 1999

Simon Davies, the director of Privacy International, had the idea to annually give away awards to persons and institutions which especially contributed to surveillance and to annihilation of privacy. Motto:"We'll name them and we'll shame them!"

VIBE!AT picked up this idea together with ARGE Daten, with Public Netbase and quintessenz. After the "Big Brother Awards" in Great Britain and USA we organized - first on the European continent - the "Big Brother Awards Austria 1999" in Vienna on October 26th. In front of numerous audience and with considerable media echo the Austrian prize-winners were announced and "appreciated" during the Big Brother party. More ...

no spam Spam ban in Austria achieved!

At the end of June 1999 we and other organizations in an open letter demanded a change of the "tele sales law". On July 15th, 1999 - only two weeks later - unsolicited bulk e-mail and unsolicited commercial e-mail was forbidden by adapting the "Telecommunication Law" through the National Assembly.

With this, so we hope, a worldwide visible signal for the fight against spam was given. There is the justifiable hope that other states will follow this example.

Mission statement: Freedom without harassments

It is the objective of VIBE!AT to encourage a mature, responsible and self-determined use of the Internet. We also want to create public awareness for attempts made by state to limit these freedoms excessively (cryptography debate; censorship and eavesdropping, respectively, without court order). We do not see the Internet as a world without law: notwithstanding practical difficulties legal determinations are fully applicable. This is true for fundamental rights and freedoms (privacy of letters, freedom of speech, freedom of the press etc.) as well as for penal provisions.

connected by Silver Server Member of GILC European Digital Rights Big Brother Awards Austria
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last update: Thursday, 28-Dec-2006 00:28:27 CET