Internet users who fear their data is being intercepted by U.S. intelligence agencies such as the National Security Agency’s should stay away from American websites run through American servers, Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said.
Leaked revelations about the NSA’s wholesale information on foreign web users has prompted outrage in Europe and calls for tighter international rules on data protection.
Leaks by Edward Snowden, a former NSA systems analyst, have revealed the NSA’s sweeping data collection of U.S. phone records and some Internet traffic.
According to U.S. intelligence officials, the programs target foreigners and terrorist suspects mostly overseas.
Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich told reporters in Berlin on Wednesday that ‘whoever fears their communication is being intercepted in any way should use services that don’t go through American servers.’
Friedrich says German officials are in touch with their U.S. counterparts ‘on all levels’ and a delegation is scheduled to fly to Washington next week to discuss the claims that ordinary citizens and even European diplomats were being spied upon.
In the wake of the NSA scandal, Friedrich defended the intelligence unit’s methods against German criticism.
In an interview with Welt am Sontag the Interior minister said that that turning against the US is ‘not how you deal with friends who are in the fight against terrorism, our most important partners’
Meanwhile, Snowden is now running out of countries that will take him in – a growing list have either denied his request for asylum or insisted that he make an application on their soil.
Earlier today Bolivia’s president Evo Morales attacked US ‘aggression’ after his plane was rerouted last night amid suspicions that NSA leaker Edward Snowden was on board.
Morales’s officials claim that his plane was forced to land in Austria because France and other European governments countries refused to let it cross their airspace.