Very few countries are so well aware of individual rights and protect them as thoroughly as Germany. Consequently, it’s where we find some of the world’s most progressive pro-consumer and data protection laws. Also, the German people trust their government very much by international standards. But, simultaneously, they expect nothing less than an excellent performance from the authorities.
But when Edward Snowden came forward and revealed some of the worst realities in data surveillance, digital privacy, and governmental interference, even Germany came out looking bad, and its citizens were aware. It turned out that the German foreign intelligence agency had a history of close partnerships with the NSA.
Cooperation in intelligence matters between the two foremost NATO members came as a surprise to nobody. The shock came from how much of that activity was directed against domestic citizens. To make things worse, the government tried to implement data retention laws.
Also, let’s not forget that Wikileaks came into being at the Berlin Hacker Club. So this is a country of law-abiding citizens that, nevertheless, hold their officials to the highest standards and expect them to meet them every time.
In this context, German Internet users are turning to VPN services to help them fight the battle for individualism (a core German value) and because VPNs offer increased convenience in many online activities.