For Europeans to feel secure in their own data privacy, is it necessary for them to create their own separate Internet? For Germany’s Der Spiegel, columnist Jacob Augstein writes that post-war nostalgia is at an end, and with America now a kind of digital ‘totalitarian state,’ Germany and Europe must act in their own interests, which boils down to one thing: a separate Internet for Europe – but without ‘unreliable’ Britain. It doesn’t look like the phrase ‘everybody does it’ is going to calm Germany’s sense of betrayal.
For Der Spiegel, Jacob Augstein writes in part:
Under Chancellor Merkel’s leadership, Berlin is by necessity once again what Bonn was: a suburb of Washington. … Generally speaking, there is a lot of disappointed affection on the German side. Did we not think we were friends of the Americans? Did we not go to war with them in Afghanistan? Did we not die with them there? And yet they trample on us? … It is time to leave the nostalgia of the post-war years behind. … Neither France nor Germany has withdrawn their allegiance to the United States. But the U.S. has withdrawn its commitment to reason. The bitter truth: Digital omnipotence has gone to the heads of the Americans.”
The U.S. has imposed a permanent state of emergency on itself and the world. It has now become a totalitarian state in the sense that its right to security has become absolute and all encompassing – making it somewhat self-destructive. No conceivable benefit can outweigh the damage this surveillance has done. It is quite simple: The Americans really don’t need a lesson in democracy from the Germans – but Germans shouldn’t tolerate American surveillance. German-American relations will survive this disaster – but German-American friendship may not.
The notion of entering into a ‘No-Spy Agreement’ is absurd. The U.S. is incapable of entering into an agreement that demands self-restraint. There is no agreement in the world to which the U.S. intelligence services would adhere – we now know that much. But stopping the Free Trade Agreement would be equally wrong. Why should Germany harm its economic interests to defend its legal interests? … In South America, the creation of their own network is being contemplated. That is also the correct path for the European Union.
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