Article Lead Image

Massive anti-NSA protests planned for 39 German cities

Revelations about the NSA's online spying operations are especially sensitive for German citizens.


Kevin Collier

Internet Culture

Posted on Jul 26, 2013   Updated on Jun 1, 2021, 10:33 am CDT

Thousands of Germans are expected to join together Saturday in a massive, multi-city protest against U.S. spying.

Germans, in particular, have been on edge since former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden leaked a host of classified agency documents in June. Among his revelations are that German citizens are more scrutinized than any other nationality, and that the NSA is “in bed with the Germans.”

Chancellor Angela Merkel has defended the alliance between the two countries’ intelligence-gathering operations, telling the German paper Der Zeit that “For decades, intelligence services have been working together under certain conditions that are tightly regulated in our country, and this serves our security.”

In the aftermath of Snowden’s revelations, U.S President Barack Obama and numerous high-ranking intelligence officials went on the record with the American public to say that they weren’t collecting the actual content of Americans‘ communications, at least without a warrant.

But that did little to assure the rest of the world’s citizens that their communications that passed through American companies weren’t fair game for the NSA. That’s especially the case in light of Snowden offering proof of a program called PRISM, which taps companies like Google and Facebook for their users’ information.

The protest is united under the banner of sites called and, not to be confused with the American site It proclaims in German that “now is the time for us to make our inner rebellion also externally visible,” and calls for “Worldwide protests against PRISM, [British program] TEMPORA, and the [NSA’s] Utah Data Center!”

Protests are scheduled for 39 different German cities. Some, like Berlin‘s, have more than a thousand who have pledged to attend.

“Do something, or you’ll wake up in a fascist system as your grandparents once did!” implored Michael Gleich.

Illustration by Fernando Alfonso III

Share this article
*First Published: Jul 26, 2013, 6:59 pm CDT