17:38 GMT06 June 2020
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    About 300 people participated in a protest against the proposed data retention law in Berlin.

    BERLIN (Sputnik) — Some 300 people gathered in downtown Berlin Saturday to protest against the proposed data retention law that would allow German security agencies access customer traffic and location data.

    The new legislation, which has the stated aim of helping combat terrorism and handle other serious offenses, was unveiled by the German government on Wednesday.

    The rally, organized by the Hamburg-based Lawyers Against Total Surveillance group, also marks two years since US National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden leaked top secret documents disclosing the vast scale of US global spying programs.

    Snowden, who is currently residing in Moscow to avoid facing espionage charges in the United States, sent a letter to the protesters calling on lawyers to prevent German authorities from storing the citizens’ personal phone and email data.

    Earlier this week, Germany’s leading journalist associations told Sputnik that the proposed law threatened privacy and undermined the freedom of the press.

    Snowden’s revelation suggested that US intelligence services tapped mobile phones of numerous world leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

    Related:

    Litigation Unavoidable Over Proposed German Data Retention Law
    German Draft Data Retention Law Undermines Press Freedom
    German Journalists Unions Say Proposed Data Retention Law Threatens Privacy
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