More than 10,000 people have been demonstrating on the streets of Berlin to demand better personal data protection.
Under the banner “freedom not fear”, as many as 167 organisations including unions, journalists and artists’ groups marched through the German capital. The protest follows a the passing of a law allowing authorities to monitor internet activity. Green Party leader Claudi Roth said: “We have to fear a surveillance state, where everyone is a general suspect and the right of freedom, the right of privacy is breached.” With federal elections due later this month organisers hope to remind politicians of what they say is their responsibility to ensure the same freedoms of public speaking remain in place on the net. “That’s where people meet now,” said Network New Media spokesman Ralf Bendrath, addressing the crowd. “It’s about the rights of people in public places, not about the freedom of the internet itself.”