June 24, 2007
Google may close Gmail Germany over privacy concerns
Spiegel a german news site is reporting that Google is threatening to shut down the german version of its Gmail service if the german Bundestag passes it’s new Internet surveillance law. Peter Fleischer, googles german privacy representative says the new law would be a severe blow against privacy and would go against Googles practice of also offering anonymous e-mail accounts. If the law is passed then starting 2008, any connection data concerning the internet, phone calls (With position data when cell phones are used), SMS etc. of any german citizen will be saved for 6 months, anonymizing services like Tor will be made illegal.
Tight privacy laws is something the Germans are used to the country’s largest email provider gmx.de forces users to enter legit address, and they make sure you prove it and will shut off if you cant. I feel Google should be applauded for trying to maintain the privacy of its customers!
If you know German head over to Spiegel.
Peter Fleischer is “Global privacy Counsel” at Google and not only its german privacy representative.