Zeit Online published its investigation into equality in the federal government on Monday, raising questions of deep divisions and gender discrimination in Germany. Since 1949, there have been 692 secretaries of state and only three percent have been women, the newspaper reports. In 668 cases a man was selected for this office, while a woman was nominated 24 times. When women who have been appointed several times have been subtracted from this figure, there have only been 19 female civil servant secretaries of state in total since 1949. At the same time, 24 men whose first names were Hans became state secretaries, and 18 whose names were Karl. That means that in 69 years of the Federal Republic, more men named Hans than women in general have taken up this important role as administrative head of ministries. Zeit found men dominate most ministeries even though a gender equality law put into place 17 years ago was supposed to change this. Still in March, the new coalition … [Read more...] about Too many Hans and not enough women in top German government roles?
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Chancellor Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA Hacking group, the Chaos Computer Club (CCC), has filed a criminal complaint against the entire German government, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, over the spying scandal. The CCC and the International League for Human Rights (ILMR) filed the complaint on Monday with the Federal Prosecutor General's office. It accuses the German government of acting illegally over mass electronic surveillance in Germany by the US National Security Agency (NSA), revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden. A statement on the club’s website said: “We accuse US, British and German secret agents, their supervisors, the German Minister of the Interior as well as the German Chancellor of illegal and prohibited covert intelligence activities, of aiding and abetting of those activities, of violation of the right to privacy and obstruction of justice in office by bearing and cooperating with the electronic surveillance of German citizens by NSA … [Read more...] about Hackers file complaint against government
Edward Snowden was interviewed in Moscow for German TV. Photo: NDR/screenshot Industrial espionage by the US National Security Agency (NSA) in Germany is an open secret, whistleblower Edward Snowden said in a television interview on Sunday night. In his first TV interview since fleeing to Russia, Snowden told German broadcaster ARD: "If there's information at Siemens that's beneficial to US national interests, even if it doesn't have anything to do with national security, then they'll take that information nevertheless." The 30-year-old also said it was unlikely that Chancellor Angela Merkel was the only member of the German government whose phone was tapped by the NSA. "I would say it is not very likely that someone who cares about intentions of the German government, only monitors Merkel," he said. The former NSA contractor also spoke about how he feared for his life. "These people, and they are government officials, have said they would love to put … [Read more...] about Snowden: NSA spies on German industry
Many users are concerned about the threats they face online, above all from computer viruses (72 percent), surveillance of their browsing activity (57 percent) and the misuse of personal data (50 percent), the survey conducted by the Allensbach Institute for the German Institute for Trust and Security in the Internet showed. But in a seeming contradiction, a considerable majority (61 percent) also believed there should be greater state controls on internet site providers, while 57 percent called for the German government to introduce stricter controls on website content. Moves have already been made in Germany to increase state control over the web – most notably through the introduction of German-only email systems. In the wake of revelations on NSA data surveillance, many Germans switched to German email providers and demanded encryption. In October state communications giant Deutsche Telekom reacted by proposing a secure national email network, based on a data security … [Read more...] about Germans want greater state control of internet
In the first week, Maxenergy poached 3,000 customers from the competition after its new offer launch on December 1 - the day the UN climate change summit opened in Peru. "Several hundred" applications were being received every day, a company spokesperson told Die Welt newspaper. Generated and imported from two nuclear plants in Switzerland, the electricity isn't markedly cheaper than other options. But it is cleaner and safer, argues the company, which is a subsidiary of the Augsburg-based mineral oil trader Sailer. Meanwhile, Germany's Association for Environment and Nature (BUND) condemned the offer as "immoral and scandalous", arguing that national energy policy should aim instead to become more efficient to meet demand, rather than generating more. Safe or not? The apparent rush to sign up would seem to fly against Germany's green face, especially after Angela Merkel's government pledge to give up nuclear energy after the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan. … [Read more...] about German consumers still hot for nuclear power