Angela Merkel calls for tighter internet data protection rules for websites registered in the UK amid allegations of US surveillance

A strict European agreement would also ask all internet providers to reveal who they make personal information available to

Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, has called for a strict European agreement over data protection, which would ask all internet providers to reveal what personal details they have stored, and who they have made this information available to.

This measure would ensure that social networking sites such as Facebook and search engine giant Google are subject to the same privacy rules applicable in all EU member states. Currently, these websites simply follow national legislation in the countries where they are registered.

As Facebook is registered in Ireland, it is only obliged to follow Irish data protection law. Ms Merkel is instead calling for a common European data protection standards. In a television interview with German broadcaster ARD on Sunday, Ms Merkel challenged other EU member states such as Britain to back tougher regulation on data protection.

She said: “Internet companies which are operating in Europe, such as Facebook and Google, must give [...] European countries the information about whom they have given data to.”

Ms Merkel’s calls for tougher rules arrive after she faced criticism for allegedly not protecting German internet users from surveillance carried out by US and British intelligence services.

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden alleged that America’s National Security Agency was “in bed with the Germans” in an interview with German magazine Der Spiegel.

In response, Ms Merkel said: “I expect a clear promise from the American government, that in the future they will observe German law on German territory. We are friendly partners. We are in a defence alliance and we must be able to rely on each other.”

Germany's top security official, Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich, met in Washington on Friday with Attorney General Eric Holder and Vice President Joe Biden. He declared himself satisfied with the meetings and stressed the need to prevent attacks, saying afterward that a US programme called PRISM searches in a “very targeted” way for terrorism-related information.

Ms Merkel added that the US administration had given Germany firm assurance that companies had not been targeted for snooping.

The Chancellor also suggested that a protocol on data protection could be added to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, a UN accord that dates back to 1966. She didn't give details of what exactly that protocol might entail.

Ahead of September elections in which the conservative Merkel is seeking a third term, the centre-left opposition argue that her government isn't acting quickly enough to address worries felt by Germans over data and confront the US.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Corporate Solicitor NQ+ Oxford

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: CORPORATE - Corporate Solicitor NQ+ An excelle...

Reach Volunteering: Financial Trustee and Company Secretary

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: A trustee (company d...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Project Manager

£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Shopfitter

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a successful an...

Day In a Page

Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin