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Google threatens to close gmail germany over privacy concerns

Posted on June 23, 2007 at 01:35 PM

According to (german), Google is threatening to close down the german version of it’s popular gmail service if the german Bundestag passes it’s new internet surveillance law. According to googles german privacy representative, Peter Fleischer, the new law would be a severe blow against privacy and would go against Googles practice of also offering anonymous e-mail accounts.

If the Bundesregierung has it’s way, then starting 2008, any connection data concerning the internet, phone calls (With position data when cell phones are used), SMS etc. of any german citizen will be saved for 6 months, anonymizing services like Tor will be made illegal.

Personally, I applaud google for joining the protest against this absurd piece of fear-inspired legislation. A big corporation standing up against this might get some politicians to actually have a look at and think about the issue instead of just passing it through, “Cause it’s to defeat the terrorists!”.

Take action now: (german) | (english)

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There are 12 comments on this post. Post yours →

is this google guts, google swagger, or both?

Googleishypocrites, posted on June 23, 2007 at 04:27 PM

Yeah but they have no trouble complying with the PATRIOT ACT in the United Atates. They have no trouble censoring search in China. Then all of a sudden Germany tries to do the same thing as these other fascist countries, and Google throws a hissy fit.

That’s okay, everyone knows Hitler wasn’t American or Chinese.

klaue, posted on June 23, 2007 at 05:29 PM

what a double standard on googles side considering their data mining behaviour in almost every field..

Good! Let them take down I hate localized Googles anyway. One Google ( with internationalized user interface is quite enough. No need to mess with ranking because of geolocation. I want the same results regardless of using a proxy in Australia or another one in Iceland.

Google style communism ;-)


ILikeGoogle, posted on June 24, 2007 at 08:00 AM

Googleishypocrites, you are wrong!!!!

All the other search companies rolled over to the feds, but not google.

Salute you Google on your position. US and europe all talk about wasted human rights. Isn’t it my right to own some level of privacy over what I am doing on the internet?

google tries to cover up its evilness by pretending to protest against even more evil laws. google itself doesn’t give a shit about privacy.

“That’s okay, everyone knows Hitler wasn’t American or Chinese.” - he wasn’t German either :>.

He has a very good point.

Richard, posted on June 24, 2007 at 03:58 PM

Well this is a stupid idea on the part of the German government, but good news for hard drive and tape-array manufacturers - If I sold storage, I’d be quite happy for the German government to mandate the keeping of enormous amounts of totally useless data.

Go-Go-Gadget Lobbyists!

Not only does the current proposal, which, by the way, is being echoed around all of Europe, call for the storing of data, but the German minister of the interior is also proposing legislation which would allow the federal police to conduct online searches of computers. This is supposed to be accomplished with the help of something called the “Bundestrojaner” or federal trojan horse which would give the German federal police back door access to every computer connected to the web. No word yet as to how this is supposed to be accomplished since every internet security company would have to become complicit by compromising their products and there is also no word as to how Linux and Apple users would be affected (or infected). Either this has not been thought out too well or there is something no one knows about. The same minister of the interior has been quoted as saying that the requisite technology is already available. Attentive people will remember the infamous Windows NSA key which purportedly has given the NSA back door access to every system since at least Windows 98. So, the question begs to be asked: are these proposal´s populist ploys designed to portray the politicians as being “tough on terror” whilst they actually have no clue regarding technology or have they already had access for almost a decade and are now simply seeking the legal framework to use the information they have already gathered?

Spiegel a german news website is reporting that Google is debilitating to close down the german form of its Gmail administration if the german Bundestag passes it’s new Internet observation law.

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