As part of an international study of knowledge of and attitudes to Snowden’s revelations about the activities of the National Security Agency/Government Communications Headquarters, this paper aims to deal with Germany, taking its socio-cultural and political environment surrounding privacy and state surveillance into account.
A questionnaire was answered by 76 German University students. The quantitative responses to the survey were statistically analysed as well as qualitative considerations of free text answers.
Snowden’s revelations have had an important influence over German students’ attitudes toward privacy and state surveillance, and show concerns over the privacy risks associated with Internet activity.
The study results imply a need to build a collective awareness of the importance of the right to privacy and its responsibilities, the available technological options for individuals to exert their own privacy and security and the democratic means to agree and enforce appropriate legal restrictions on state surveillance.
Young Germans support Snowden’s actions and would be more willing to emulate him in Germany than in the USA. While many believe that people must give up some privacy and freedom for security, few seem to believe that current US or German approaches are valid and justified.
This study is the first attempt to investigate the social impact of Snowden’s revelations on German students’ attitudes toward privacy and state surveillance as part of cross-cultural analyses between eight countries.
Adams, A.A., Hosell, S. and Murata, K. (2017), "Following Snowden, German uncertainty about monitoring", Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, Vol. 15 No. 3, pp. 232-246. https://doi.org/10.1108/JICES-01-2017-0006Download as .RIS
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