recommended reading

German Official Thinks Snowden Should Give Up Being 'Hunted'

Protesters hold posters of former National Security Agency member Edward Snowden in front of the German parliament building.

Protesters hold posters of former National Security Agency member Edward Snowden in front of the German parliament building. // Markus Schreiber/AP

Germany would rather see Edward Snowden return home than have him on their turf.

The country's justice minister Heiko Maas said in an interview Tuesday that the former NSA contractor should strike a deal with U.S. authorities to return. Snowden, Maas said, "surely doesn't want to spend the rest of his life being hunted... or wandering from one asylum to the next."

Snowden's next steps remain up in the air, as his asylum in Russia expires July 31. Though the whistleblower has support in Germany from opposition parties who have demanded the country's leaders allow Snowden to testify in Berlin on the extent of U.S. surveillance, Germany is intent on maintaining its relationship with the U.S, despite the instances of U.S. spying. 

But Germany, it seems, would rather maintain the relationship between its government and the U.S.'s, despite the instances of U.S. spying. Earlier this month, the country found that two people have spied on Germany for the U.S.—one was a German intelligence double agent, the other a German army officer—and in response, the country expelled the CIA contact stationed in Berlin. German paper Der Spiegel also reported that German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone had been bugged by U.S. intelligence.

The White House, in response, issued a statement in October to underline its relationship with the country:

The United States greatly values our close cooperation with Germany on a broad range of shared security challenges. As the President has said, the United States is reviewing the way that we gather intelligence to ensure that we properly balance the security concerns of our citizens and allies with the privacy concerns that all people share.

Both leaders agreed to intensify further the cooperation between our intelligence services with the goal of protecting the security of both countries and of our partners, as well as protecting the privacy of our citizens.

Ultimately, Maas' recommendation matches what Snowden has said he wants. In his interview with Brian Williams in May, Snowden said, "I don't think there's ever been any question that I'd like to go home." 

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.