Every year, the Big Brother Awards pays tribute to the creme de la creme of privacy offenders. Individuals, corporations and governments who have distinguished themselves the past year by grossly infringing on citizens’ privacy and freedom have a shot at taking home either the Audience Award or the Expert Award. Hereby Bits of Freedom adds a part in a beautiful international traditionSee all the other Big Brother Awards that are organized worldwide.
Leading up to the Awards, the audience has the opportunity to nominate candidates. Those who get the most mentions will make up the shortlist and be in the run for the Audience Award. From this shortlist, the audience chooses the final winner. Additionally, an Expert Award is presented in order to draw attention to privacy infringements that may not have received as much consideration in the media or from the larger audience. Bits of Freedom relies on academics, columnists, activists and professionals to put forward nominees.
In addition, we also give away a positive privacy award, recently renamed after, and in honor of, Felipe Rodriguez. This year’s winner of the Felipe Rodriguez Award is Open Whisper Systems, the makers of the chat-app Signal.We were blown away by the speech developer Lilia Kai gave in Amsterdam.
Last year the award went to Max Schrems, the founder of ‘Europe versus Facebook’, and initiator of the court case regarding ‘Safe Harbor’. In this case the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled on October 6th, 2015 that Europe does not sufficiently protect the privacy of European citizens against the NSA, the United States’ National Security Agency.