US-German Relations Following the NSA Scandal:


This summer, Edward Snowden revealed that the United States government surveillance had reached unprecedented breath. Although President Obama attempted to reassure everyone by stating that the NSA’s electronic surveillance program was solely for purposes of national security, nobody seemed truly convinced.

And rightfully so. The New York Times[1] published an article stating that the NSA had for years targeted the cellphone of the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel. According to Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung,[2] the NSA was not merely recording whom Chancellor Merkel was talking to but actually listening in on her conversations.

Germany is amongst other European countries that have shown outrage at the United States’ conduct, but is perhaps the most angered. In fact, this summer’s scandal has lead to a growing demand for German Email Providers[3]. So, are nationalized internet networks the future?

Recently, I had the opportunity to hear Hon. Cameron Kerry, former General Counsel of the United States Commerce Department speak about the Obama Administration’s Privacy Policy initiatives and ask him what he thought about “Email Made in Germany”. I was very surprised by his response.

First off, prior to my question, Kerry ridiculed the Germans, stating that for people who do not have a problem with taking their clothes off in public, it was ironic to be outraged about privacy issues. Clearly choice means little to Kerry.

Concerning an email made in Germany, Kerry suggested that nationalized internet networks would be a shame as they would diminish the free and open environment of the internet. “Although I agree with Kerry, his opinion is rather shallow: a country cannot be in control of the largest Internet surveillance program and claim that they are in favor of a free Internet.”

Sorry Obama, but making October 6th German- American Day will not get you out of this one.[4]