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Germany: Data Protection Commissioner calls for Germany to "take action now"01:24

Germany: Data Protection Commissioner calls for Germany to "take action now"

Germany, Berlin
July 26, 2013 at 12:43 GMT +00:00 · Published

Germany: Data Protection Commissioner calls for Germany to "take action now"

Alexander Dix, German Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information, called for decisive action from the German and European data protection authorities in Berlin on Friday. Dix called for greater transparency and limits on what government intelligence services can do. Dix commented, "What we are seeing here is really excessive secrecy protecting excessive surveillance, and that cannot go on as it as in the past. We need effective control and we need limits to what the intelligence services are allowed to do."

He added, "European and German data protection authorities have to take action now and they are, obviously, they have to deal with applications for authorisations to transfer data across the Atlantic, and these applications at the moment will not be answered as long as these questions have not been plausibly answered. National data protection authorities have the right and indeed the duty to stop data transfers if they have severe doubts that these principles are still being followed. This may not be the fault of Google and Facebook but if Google and Facebook are completely open and their data flows are side-tracked and accessed without reasonable control by the NSA, we have a severe problem and German and indeed European data protection authorities have to take measures now."

In July, German Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected criticisms directed towards Germany in relation to the NSA scandal. Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief of staff testified Thursday to a parliamentary committee on alleged surveillance by the NSA, but failed to satisfy opposition lawmakers who are attacking the government on the issue ahead of Germany's September elections. Merkel had denied any previous knowledge of NSA's tactics, adding that she first learned about them through the media.

Germany: Data Protection Commissioner calls for Germany to "take action now"01:24
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Germany: Data Protection Commissioner calls for Germany to "take action now"

Alexander Dix, German Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information, called for decisive action from the German and European data protection authorities in Berlin on Friday. Dix called for greater transparency and limits on what government intelligence services can do. Dix commented, "What we are seeing here is really excessive secrecy protecting excessive surveillance, and that cannot go on as it as in the past. We need effective control and we need limits to what the intelligence services are allowed to do."

He added, "European and German data protection authorities have to take action now and they are, obviously, they have to deal with applications for authorisations to transfer data across the Atlantic, and these applications at the moment will not be answered as long as these questions have not been plausibly answered. National data protection authorities have the right and indeed the duty to stop data transfers if they have severe doubts that these principles are still being followed. This may not be the fault of Google and Facebook but if Google and Facebook are completely open and their data flows are side-tracked and accessed without reasonable control by the NSA, we have a severe problem and German and indeed European data protection authorities have to take measures now."

In July, German Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected criticisms directed towards Germany in relation to the NSA scandal. Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief of staff testified Thursday to a parliamentary committee on alleged surveillance by the NSA, but failed to satisfy opposition lawmakers who are attacking the government on the issue ahead of Germany's September elections. Merkel had denied any previous knowledge of NSA's tactics, adding that she first learned about them through the media.