The title is a popular German song from the National Socialist (Nazi) period.
Then it was the Nazis trying to take over and control the world… now, it’s the European Parliament!
As honorable as they can make it sound; you can be sure their motives are ulterior, and have nothing to do with our benefit!
Make your voice heard:
Dear Privacy-Minded Internet User:
The European Parliament wants to take away the right to search the Internet in privacy.
As you know, the Startpage and Ixquick search engines have helped millions of people protect their privacy through anonymous, certified proxy searching. Human rights activists, whistleblowers, and regular people all appreciate the security of knowing we never record users’ IP addresses and we don’t use tracking cookies.
But unless we act now, Europeans may lose that right.
A directive known as “Written Declaration 29,” adopted last week by the European Parliament, calls for legislation that would require search engines to make a record of all search queries.
Spying on people’s searches without evidence of a crime would throw us back to the East German Stasi era where everyone was under surveillance.
We believe privacy is a fundamental right, and we have vowed to resist this move.
Please read and distribute our press release below. We need your help to spread the word.
Katherine Albrecht, Ed.D.
Founder and Director, CASPIAN Consumer Privacy and VP Marketing and Media Relations, Startpage (by Ixquick) The private, anonymous search engine alternative to Google, Yahoo, and Bing www.Startpage.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Search Engines Should Become Government Spies, Says EU Parliament Ixquick and Startpage will fight “Big Brother” data retention clause in Declaration 29
(Brussels / New York / Zeist June 28, 2010) A draconian proposal to retain all Internet search traffic, known as “Written Declaration 29,”
was adopted by the European Parliament last week. Framed as a measure to crack down on paedophiles, the controversial Declaration calls on the EU to require that search engines store all search traffic for up to two years for possible analysis by authorities.
Search engine Ixquick (www.ixquick.com), widely regarded as the world’s most private search engine, has built a strong privacy reputation by storing no search data on its users. The company believes it has been singled out by the data retention proposal, and it has vowed to strongly oppose the measure becoming law.
“Since Google, Yahoo, and Bing already retain users’ search data, this proposal is clearly aimed at Ixquick and our English-language subsidiary Startpage (www.startpage.com),” said Robert Beens, CEO of Ixquick. “We have worked hard to create a privacy-friendly search engine that embodies the spirit of EU Privacy Protections, in line with the strict recommendations of the EU Article 29 Data Protection Working Party. This Declaration is evidence that the left hand of the EU does not know what the right hand is doing.”
Mr. Beens fears that if the measure becomes law, it will vastly undermine the privacy of over 500 million law-abiding EU citizens.
Storing everyone’s search data, rather than restricting surveillance to known or suspected offenders, would give the government access to a rich trove of political, medical, professional, and personal data on virtually every person in Europe. And critics say it will do little to stop child pornography.
“Sex offenders exchange files through underground networks. They don’t find this stuff through search engines,” said Alex Hanff of Privacy International, an advocacy group that is launching a campaign against the measure. “I spent eight years helping law enforcement track down online sex offenders and never once did we see a case where search engine data was useful.”
Ixquick will join the public campaign started by Privacy International to stop the provisions of Written Declaration 29 from becoming law.
“Privacy is a fundamental right and the basis of a free society. The phenomenal success of Ixquick and Startpage proves that people don’t want to be watched by their governments,” said Mr. Beens. “Spying on law-abiding citizens is not the way forward, and we will stand by our principles to protect the public’s ability to search in privacy.”
About Startpage and Ixquick
Launched in 1998, Ixquick is owned by Surfboard Holding BV, a Dutch company. Ixquick has been awarded the EU Privacy Seal by the independent certification authority Europrise. Further information can be found at www.startpage.com and www.ixquick.com.
CASPIAN (Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering) is a grass-roots consumer group fighting retail surveillance schemes since 1999 and irresponsible RFID use since 2002. With thousands of members in all 50 U.S. states and over 30 countries worldwide, CASPIAN seeks to educate consumers about marketing strategies that invade their privacy and encourage privacy-conscious shopping habits across the retail spectrum.
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