Gated Communities

The theme of #32C3 was Gated Communities.

In its modern form, a gated community (or walled community) is a form of residential community or housing estate containing strictly controlled entrances for pedestrians, bicycles, and automobiles, and often characterized by a closed perimeter of walls and fences - wikipedia

Themes are not really taken that seriously at CCC - but here is the description given on the blog:

CCC Event Weblog

Technological eco-systems created by single companies relieve us from the burden of choosing our own mobile phones, computers or fitness trackers and understanding how they work. We let their commercial interests decide, which media outlets, news bulletins and expressions of opinion we notice and which are accepted by the globally valid terms of service -

Filter bubbles take the pain away of thinking for ourselves. Strongly opinionated agitators provide acceptable sources of information and handy concepts of an enemy.

Communities of states, just recently lauded with a nobel peace prize, take the moral duty from us, having to think about the costs of our wealth: They erect walls, experiment with biometrics and discuss firing orders – finally easing the fear they monger every day.

Every day politics are taking away the burden of social responsibility, participation or even scrutiny: By arranging treaties behind closed doors setting in stone for which there appears to be no alternative.

Transnational surveillance systems help us to pre-emptively separate our fellow human beings into good and evil, beneficials and useless ones. Our cozy cherished sociosphere full of barely prevented terror attacks and career defining social networks we devotedly seize the opportunity never to cultivate a conscience of our own. Subversives, dissenters and outliers disturbing our harmony are automatically and systematically blocked, arrested, harassed or placed in their very own filter bubble.

The guardians of our networks and browsers take away the difficult decisions, which connections are expendable. We get to enjoy those providers that can afford us and are supplied with exactly the services and speed we are entitled to.

The Congress gives us the space to do the things ourselves. To discuss for ourselves, to think for ourselves, to decide for ourselves and to tinker on our own. Our own gated community helps us against some of the bullshit bingo of the outside world.