4th Press Release, Saturday, 7 September 7, 2013, 3:30 pm
More than 20,000 Protest against Surveillance Mania.
“The demonstration is a huge success. There are four times as many of us as there were at the last demo in 2011! The citizens are going out onto the streets in defense of their fundamental rights and of democracy,” said padeluun of the Demo Alliance.
“Only a dictatorship needs censorship,” “Anonymity is not a crime,” or “Freedom of the press needs data protection” – in imaginative costumes, with creative banners and pithy slogans, the people in Berlin are protesting peacefully against the spying practices of the NSA, against the continued violation of their privacy, and against persistent inaction by the Merkel government.
“We are here today because we won’t accept being lied to so brazenly. Because we don’t accept the fact that the intelligence agencies are all spying on us. Because we don’t accept the fact that all the Internet is for anymore is for surveillance and making money,” said the internet activist and blogger Anne Roth.
Rena Tangens of the civil rights organization Digitalcourage noted that “Surveillance is going on in Germany, too, and all citizens are affected. Online searches, data retention, stored-data information systems and the disproportionate use of cell dumps are just a few examples of anti-democratic control measures that need to be abolished.”
“We need some kind of government agency that will completely investigate the surveillance practices of the intelligence agencies. You might call it Gauck 2.0 [after the agency investigating the East German secret police, formerly headed by President Gauck]. We would be happy if our President, who knows something about the surveillance by the Stasi from his own personal experience, would not only remain silent,” adds Oliver Moldenhauer of the organization SumOfUs.org.
He also demanded that treaties that allow full-scale collection, storage and disclosure of personal information of citizens be immediately abrogated or stopped. These include the Agreement on the transfer of bank data and air passenger data, and for data processing in the United States (“Safe Haven”).
Moreover, he added, we urgently need to promote encryption technologies as free software. “We need encryption software that anyone can understand and use,” said American human rights activist Jacob Appelbaum.” Strong encryption is the beginning of resistance against the new tyranny of our day” Appelbaum said.
For Christoph Bautz of Campact, it is obvious that “Freedom does not today need to be defended at the Hindu Kush. The freedom we have to defend all together here is against the spooks in Pullach and Berlin!”
At approx.. 4 pm, the final rally is to be held on Alexanderplatz. Speakers will be Anne Roth, blogger, Parker Higgins of Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco, Michael Rediske of Reporters Without Borders, Christian Humborg of Transparency International and padeluun of the civil rights organization Digitalcourage.
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