Who’s reading your email? – German and US perspectivess

My German brother-in-law was surprised that the NSA had collected so much personal information from average Europeans – and was baffled that most Americans seem not to care.
This recent New York Times articles considers the historical roots of the differing US and German attitudes on personal data:
“Put briefly, the traditional German paranoia about personal data goes like this: America and Germany may be democracies, but states can change. The intelligence agencies might one day use their knowledge to identify and intimidate citizens. We remember the Gestapo. We remember the Stasi.
The American position, in contrast, holds that while it’s not nice that the N.S.A. taps the world’s communications, the real dangers to liberty today derive from terrorists. What if the intelligence agencies fail again in connecting the dots? Remember 9/11?”
Full article here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/29/opinion/between-paranoia-and-naivete.html

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