With its strict privacy laws, Germany is the refuge of choice for those hounded by the security services. Carole Cadwalladr visits Berlin to meet Laura Poitras, the director of Edward Snowden film Citizenfour, and a growing community of surveillance refuseniks.
Germany has some of the strongest laws in the world when it comes to surveillance and privacy. It is illegal for the foreign security service, the BND, to spy on its own citizens. But, the NSA has had bases in Germany since 1945 and there are no laws that govern its behaviour.
U.S. demands to seize emails stored on a Microsoft server in Ireland. According to the district court, the location of the data is not relevant and seeking cooperation with Irish authorities is not necessary for a warrant’s powers to reach abroad. However, there is “no way” the U.S. government would accept the reasoning the district court is using if other countries wanted to access data stored on U.S. soil, Microsoft said in a brief filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Monday. If the warrant is carried out it would open the door to such seizures in the U.S., endangering the privacy of U.S. citizens, Microsoft said. The Irish government asked the European Commission for legal aid in the case.