On Saturday, August 30, more than 6000 people took to the streets of Berlin, Germany to protest against intelligence agencies’ mass surveillance.
A broad alliance of more than 80 organizations, including many internet activists, journalists, human rights organizations, lawyers and even judges had called for this demonstration under the slogan “Freedom not Fear.” Of course whistle-blowing websites, such as WikiLeaks and whistleblowers, such as Edward Snowden, who revealed the horrifying extent of mass state surveillance, were omnipresent throughout the various speeches. But the speakers also pointed out that the German intelligence services are not innocent and that they are often working hand in glove with their US counterparts. The jurist and author Rolf Gössner, a representative of the International League for Human Rights spoke of the shameless arms race in the global information war that is supposed to serve counter terrorism and security, but in reality serves geostrategic and economic interests, ultimately also aimed at suppressing uprisings and securing military interventions. Several speakers made reference to the need to strengthen the “culture of whistle-blowing” also in Germany, such as IT-security expert and developer of encryption technologies Jacob Appelbaum: “If you are working in the NSA, in the CIA, in the German domestic or foreign intelligence agencies: Leak more documents! If you are not in the NSA, BND or CIA: Go there! Work there and come back with the documents!”
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