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In postwar Germany, surveillance has always been a popular topic of discussion and study. With the legacy of two totalitarian dictatorships, first the Nazi regime from 1933 to 1945 and then the communist surveillance state in the east of the country (German Democratic Republic, GDR, 1945–1989/1990), the topic continues to be a sensitive one. Consequently, the revelations made by Edward Snowden in 2013 about the far-reaching international Internet surveillance practices by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and its British counterpart did not sit well with the German public. Practices for crime or terror prevention common in many other Western states such as closed-circuit television surveillance of public places are widely regarded as suspicious and comparatively used sparely in Germany. In general, there remains ...

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