The Undoing of Germany's Privacy Dogma
Germans vociferously objected to US surveillance after Edward Snowden revealed the vast scope of National Security Agency spying. So, when the European Court of Justice ruled in October to dismantle Safe Harbor, the legal arrangement that let American companies transfer Europeans' data to the US, Berlin policymakers celebrated Europeans taking a stand for their right to privacy and digital sovereignty.
But how things change. In a matter of months, after Islamic State terrorists killed 130 people in Paris and the refugee flows remain unabated, many Germans now recognize that intelligence cooperation with the US may be a price worth paying to combat threats dangerously close to home.
In fact, a recent poll found that a majority of Germans cited cooperation between the NSA and Germany's spy agency as normal and necessary. It also found that only 25 percent of Germans are concerned that companies have illegal access to their personal data; even less are urgently concerned about surveillance measures by the government. And another recent poll found that 57 percent of Germans think their country is threatened and 58 percent agree to military support in the fight against the Islamic State.