That’s interesting. OK. We are through.
Which one, for example?
Do you see any benefit for your ministerial job as being a transgender person?
Yeah, but I mean you’re attached to a cabinet dominated by one party.
Let’s say from the opposition party, from other parties.
Your political adversaries, they…
It would be interesting, maybe, to understand what lessons or how you see it now, it’s three years on the job.
OK. You are regarded as the first transgender minister in the world. What lessons did you learn in this regard, and what advice can you give? Maybe you elaborate a bit how the Taiwanese public has reacted to your becoming the first transsexual minister, whether you experienced any insults or ...
You don’t care?
I think sometimes society forces you to take sides. For example, if you use the toilet. How do you handle that?
Can you elaborate on that, or on your identity?
OK. Now, more in regard your identity, you were born as male. You are regarded today as transgender, and I found a description of yourself as post-gender. On the other hand, I also found a quote where you said, “It doesn’t matter if you are dressed as a male or ...
OK, so it’s the other way around.
Ah, OK, because I would see it usually the other way. You are isolated, because you retreat from the community, and you somehow just play a game or whatever. Therefore, you’re not able to take part in real life.
I was not referring to the industry but for the private behaviors. It’s more male people retreating from society and getting lost in cyberspace. That is more a male attitude than a female. Female people are more communicative in real life, while male people are more playing games or being, ...
I would expect that, or my experience is that in most countries, all the so-called computer nerds are more or less male.
Can you elaborate on this?
You said, I think, yourself somewhere that your retreat into cyberspace made it possible for you to develop your own more female identity.
What do you mean by conservative anarchist?
You see yourself as an innovator.
What do you mean by this, and how does it affect your work?
You have described yourself as a civic hacker and as a conservative anarchist.
Meaning, secondary or what do you mean by lower-case?
A what? A lower…
Because of this, someone described you more as a kind of chat room moderator than a typical minister. How do you see your role and your style of work?
The final part will be more about you as a person, and also as a minister, is your style. You’re quoted as having said, as a minister, you’re not giving orders and you don’t take orders.
Yes. What are you doing against that?
At the screen, and maybe 10 minutes, she is talking with me, maximum, so I would prefer, let’s say…
Yeah, with the screen. It would be better if people would directly communicate with each other, speaking with each other. [laughs] For example, if my daughter is visiting me, we see maybe for three hours, and two hours, 45 minutes, she is…
Before, we mentioned the creation of addiction already. Basically, I would think that people are connected to the Web already for many, many hours, and I think it would be sometime better if they would not be with the Web so much.
Yeah. Your connectedness is much better [laughs] not in Germany.
For example, my mother, she is not able to use the Internet. What are you doing against this division of society, of exclusion of elderly people? Some type of discrimination as well, if you strongly focus so much on digitalization. What are you doing against this danger of discrimination against ...
Good. I’m not sure how it’s in Taiwan, but at least in Germany, I would say that many elderly people, they have problems with digitalization. They are not connected with the Web. With your strength in digitalization, your strength in the divide in society.
Do I understand correctly, so far, you managed to make the government more transparent, like let’s say, the social media companies? Your power is very limited to make them more transparent.
That means Facebook makes a profit, and the society has to check the facts.
It’s a kind of NGO?
If I understand it correctly, that there is, for example, no law against hate speech, so it’s up to the company and up to the constituency to call hate speech a hate speech. It’s not that Facebook has to follow certain rules set by you, but it’s up to Facebook ...
They’re there for making money, not for governing, and they are not elected.
What are you doing about it?
Yeah, but that’s on the individual level, but on the political level, these companies, usually, they are known as more powerful than, let’s say, medium sized countries. They have the potential of being helpful in democratization, but they also have a potential in limiting democratization.
As a minister, you don’t see part of your job as limiting the power of, let’s say, Facebook, or YouTube, or Google, or whatever?
That would be my other question, that companies like Google or Facebook, that they are so dominating. They have such a strong monopoly. On the other hand, they are hardly paying any taxes. They are more and more seen as a danger to democracy and privacy rights.
It’s the companies, they dictate the terms, and if you don’t like the term, you cannot work with that company and there’s no other company taking you because the terms are more or less all the same.
Here in Germany for example, it’s like the big corporations, they dictate the terms, so you, an individual, cannot say, “Oh, I would like to work with you, but this condition or that condition, I don’t like.”
GDPR stands for?
In Berlin, we are experimenting with it. We have one train station which has artificial face recognition.
Like we mentioned already, PRC is leading in, let’s say, artificial energy as a tool for surveillance and for the control of the population. Do you see Western countries more and more following the Chinese example?