Gmail may shut down in Germany

New Launches reports that Gmail is threatening to shut down Gmail in Germany if the Bundestag passes a new Internet surveilllance law scheduled for 2008. If the law is passed, any data connection of any German citizen on the internet will be saved for up to 6 months. This goes against Google’s privacy policy and would force them to shut down services in that country.

Update: June 28, 2007

According to Wired the whole incident was a misunderstanding based on a translation in the policy. Peter Fleischer, from the Global Privacy Counsel was quoted:

“We think that this law is bad for users and bad for privacy on the Internet. Google believes that users should have the right to create an email account without going through the hassle of having to prove exactly who they are. Anonymous email is particularly important for political dissidents, for example.”

It’s amazing what a little story like this can generate! Good news for Google, bad news for the German citizens.