Thousands of Germans protest against US spying

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, July 28, 2013
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Thousands of people braved the heatwave on Saturday and took to the streets across Germany to protest against the U.S. internet surveillance in the country.

The protestors also voiced support for fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden who revealed that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) was monitoring phone calls and Internet data connections in Germany as well as spying on the headquarters of the European Union.

Braving temperatures as high as 36 degree-celsius in some regions, protesters in more than 30 cities took part in the demonstrations, which was organized by an organization called "Stop Watching Us".

The largest rally took place in Frankfurt with about 1,000 protestors, according to local media.

Recent reports of widespread U.S. spying have sparked outcry in privacy-sensitive Germany. Less than half of the German people see the United States as a trustworthy partner in the aftermath of the reports, a poll published earlier this month has showed.

Facing increasing political pressure, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has reiterated that "German laws must be abided by on German territory." She also said Germany is not a surveillance state.

The German opposition parties have been criticizing Chancellor Merkel's coalition government over its handling of the United States' massive surveillance program in Germany, as the public outrage shows no signs of abating with the looming general elections in September.

However, the spying scandal has not seemed to affect Merkel's popular status in Germany on the eve of general elections. A recent opinion poll by public broadcaster ZDF showed that 62 percent of respondents still support Merkel as the preferred chancellor.

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