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Merkel urges stronger Europe, global data rules

BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel called Sunday for tougher European and global rules on data protection amid fallout from recent revelations about US surveillance programs.

Merkel pledged that Germany will take a "very strict position" in ongoing talks on European Union-wide data rules. Germany will push for those rules to oblige companies such as Google and Facebook to tell European countries who they share data with, she told ARD television.

The chancellor also suggested that a protocol on data protection could be added to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, a UN accord that dates back to 1966. She didn't give details of what exactly that protocol might entail.

Germans are sensitive about protecting their personal data. Ahead of September elections in which the conservative Merkel is seeking a third term, the center-left opposition says her government isn't doing enough to address those worries and confront the US.

Germany's top security official, Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich, met in Washington on Friday with Attorney General Eric Holder and Vice President Joe Biden. He declared himself satisfied with the meetings and stressed the need to prevent attacks, saying afterward that a US program called PRISM searches in a "very targeted" way for terrorism-related information.

Merkel's opponents asserted that Friedrich made no headway in securing information on US surveillance activities - renewing attacks that have yet to produce any obvious shift in polls.

Merkel said Friedrich's trip "can only be a first step" in discussions with the US and that experts from the two countries will remain in contact. She said she expects "a clear commitment from the American government for the future that they will keep to German law on German soil."

She added, however, that she has no evidence at this point that US agencies haven't done so in the past.

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Comments (1) Closed

Marg bar Almania
Jul 15, 2013 09:53pm

If it was not such a grave issue, it would almost be comical how the Berlin regime is trying to pretend it had to do something with human rights.

For decades that regime betrayed populations to its enlarged revenant, and even when its politicians pretended to fall out with the Americans they never closed the local airspace for their military.

And in the Snowden affair, probably the only reason why Gemany did not join the European airspace blockade is because they expected to pull the whistleblower out of the plane in order to outcompete the British threats against Assange.

It is now almost a century since the center of gravity of genocidal militarism has begun shifting from Germany to Unitedstates - after one third of the period they judged over the Holocaust, after two third they had the Agentorange, and now it it is time for the world to judge over both because delegating such issues along national borders can only lead to such despicable results.