Thousands demonstrate in Berlin for more privacy
The Stop This Surveillance Madness rally had Berliners out protesting ‘the surveillance’ state.
Berlin -– About 15,000 demonstrators marched in Berlin on Saturday to demand greater privacy, accusing the German government of creating a "surveillance state."
The Stop This Surveillance Madness rally ended at the Brandenburg Gate. Organizers said 100,000 people took part but police on crowd duty said they had not seen more than about 15,000 present at any one time.
The German privacy movement is upset at European Union data retention laws that require phone companies to keep computerized lists of the numbers that their customers call for six months.
Police investigating serious crimes can obtain specific data from the lists if a judge oversees the inquiry.
The rally was organized by 117 German groups. A spokesman said the big turnout proved Germans were sensitive about privacy "and never want to live in a surveillance state again."