5.-7. Juni 2023
Arena Berlin & Festsaal Kreuzberg
Lea Beckmann, Matthias Monroy, Milena Zajovic, Andreas Grünewald
What would you take with you, if you had to flee? Whether the departure is hasty or planned, there will most probably be a smartphone in your pocket.
Smartphones enable us to stay in touch with family and friends, store memories or important documents, help with navigation and translation. However, the extensive data on smartphones is also of interest to police, border and migration authorities. Frontex locates smartphone signals to identify escape routes and prevent people from entering the EU. In some cases, border guards deliberately destroy smartphones of people on the move to prevent human rights violations from being documented and punished. In Germany, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) and other authorities read out the smartphones of many asylum seekers to confirm information about their identities and nationalities.
Against this background, we would like to discuss:
How and by whom are smartphones used to monitor people on the move? Are there possibilities to take legal and political action against this?
How widespread is the practice of confiscating and reading out smartphones of people on the move by German authorities? What is the legal base for this practice, what can be and has been done against it?
In how far do repressive policies at the external borders of the European Union target smartphones?
And in how far are smartphones also an instrument of empowerment, how often is data from smartphones used to expose and fight injustice?
During the course of the event, Brot für die Welt (German NGO) will launch an online tool that addresses the ambivalent role of the smartphone as a means of oppression and empowerment using short texts and interviews from Croatia, Niger, Mexico – and, of course, also from Germany.