German Official: Germans Should Avoid American Services to Ensure Privacy

Germany’s internal security chief Hans-Peter Friedrich, has suggested to German citizens that it might be wise to avoid American services in the wake of the NSA PRISM scandal and other activities that involved targets in Europe. According to an Associated Press report, Friedrich said on Wednesday that "whoever fears their communication is being intercepted in any way should use services that don’t go through American servers."

Friedrich is one of the first senior European politicians to explicitly urge citizens to avoid using U.S. services. A few weeks ago EU Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes said that "the PRISM debate will definitely increase calls for a European cloud, with a range of possible consequences for American companies" – but that's a far cry from telling Europeans not to use U.S. services.

Of course, avoiding Facebook and Google is a pretty hard thing to do given its popularity, and other spying programs are alleged to be in operation in Europe. For example, it was recently revealed that there is a British program called Tempora, which allegedly allows for tapping fiber-optic cables that constitute the backbone of the internet. German data protection officials have also urged the federal government to "do everything to protect the people in Germany against access to their data by third parties," and have asked for explanations of its own government about their knowledge and participation in PRISM and Tempora before the scandal broke.

Source: GIGA OM


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