No Minister

Company hires Stasi Agent for security

My PhotoThe headline is not satire. This has actually happened.

Electronic Arts is a major international video game company in California. It’s responsible for blockbuster games like The Sims, FIFA, Madden NFL, and Battlefield. It was founded in 1982 and is a $5 billion operation, making it one of the biggest gaming companies in the world.

In case you’re wondering why this matters you should note that the video game industry generates more money annually than the film and music industries combined. Just one of the E-commerce sites selling games – Steam – has a billion customers, yet is nowhere near as well known as Facebook or Twitter.

Electronic Arts is a game development company and they have offices around the world, including one in Berlin, and in recent years they’ve been getting very concerned and the racism and fascism of online gamers, but what they’ve done to try and combat this is worse than the disease!!

The Berlin office recently announced it was partnering with the Amadeu Antonio Foundation and its program “Keine Pixel für Faschisten” [No Pixels for Fascists]. The program seeks to monitor political beliefs in the video game industry and among players for “racism, sexism, and anti-semitism.”

Anetta Kahane (aka Rosa Kleb)

The thing is that this foundation was founded and is headed by one Anetta Kahane:

Anetta Kahane (born 1954 in East Berlin) is a German journalist, author and activist against antisemitism, racism and right-wing extremism. 

Well, that sounds reasonable enough. Just the sort of person you would expect to head such a group. There’s just one other thing about her:

From 1974 to 1982 she was an unofficial collaborator for the East German Stasi secret police.

Lovely. Recently I’ve made some jokes about these little offizieller Mitarbeiter’s who made the whole shitty system of the Stasi work in monitoring and controlling the East German people, but here’s one in real life who has gone on to success.

Doing what she always did in policing people’s thoughts.

At its height, the Stasi had over 102,000 officers and nearly a quarter of a million of its own citizens spying on family members, neighbours and colleagues for wrongthink! And she was good at her job, as revealed in this 2019 German news report, where her Stasi work was revealed from the enormous pile of Stasi records that has been fascinating and horrifying Germans since 1991 as researchers plough through it (great record keepers of crime the Communists).

Kahane was considered an excellent asset who was enthusiastic in the performance of her work. She produced intimate information to the Government on the lives of her friends, family, journalists, and even Chilean immigrants fleeing the fascist Pinochet regime. She also wrote extensive reports detailing people’s private lives, from weddings to teenager’s birthday parties.

Her information also led to the “denunciation” of two actors who criticised the East German regime. Thomas and Klaus Brasch were labeled “enemies of the GDR” by her in 1976. Thomas managed to successfully flee to West Germany, but Klaus committed suicide in 1980 as a result of being spyed upon and harassed endlessly by the Stasi.

And yet what friends she has. Several years ago German Chancellor Angela Merkel, issued a personal video in support of Kahane’s “361 Degrees Tolerance” project, and Merkel is just one of her influential supporters who have stuck by her in the face of previous controversies.

In 2016, Dr. Hubertus Knabe, a historian and the Director of the Hohenschönhausen Stasi victims Memorial Foundation, ripped into the German Ministry of Justice for hiring Kahane and her foundation as part of their efforts to combat “hate speech”. He said it was “incomprehensible” that she had been given “the sensitive task” of “controlling the Internet.”

In 2018, there was actually a public outcry when Kahane and her foundation published an information booklet for school teachers and early-age educators aimed at identifying “Nazi parents.” The booklet suggested blonde girls wearing braids and boys being athletic were signs that children should be monitored for potential removal from the home.

What a piece of work she is. True human garbage who belongs in the same pile as the fascists and Nazi’s she supposedly hunts.

Now to be fair it is probably hard to come by the sort of thought-policing experience that years with the Stasi would give you and EA probably thought hiring an ex-KGB agent would be a step too far. But really? They couldn’t find any other groups or people less tainted as oppressors to do this work?

It’s amazing how many organisations like EA, and people – across the political spectrum – seem to genuinely prefer secret policing of thought crimes against the possibility that someone, somewhere, might call them racist and fascist.

Written by Tom Hunter

May 17, 2020 at 9:09 pm

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