German Man Questioned After Creating Joke NSA Nature Walk Event on Facebook

By Stephen Fuchs on Email @StephenWFuchs

Daniel Bangert NSA Nature Walk

I guess it’s too soon to make a joke about the NSA on social media sites.  Daniel Bangert, a 28-year-old German citizen thought he’d poke fun at the NSA in the midst of the recent spying scandal that has gone on around the world by creating a “NSA spy-spotting walk” at the local Dagger Complex… a highly guarded US military facility in his hometown of Griesheim.

The event, which was described as a nature walk type of outing where they would conduct “joint research into the threatened habitat of NSA spies.”  Bangert went on to say: “If we are really lucky, we might actually see a real NSA spy with our own eyes.”  While it was only meant as a joke, the US Military ironically “got word” of the event and had German authorities pay a visit to Daniel Bangert’s home.

Four days after posting the Facebook event, Bangert’s phone rang with instructions to open up for the police officers who were just showing up outside his door.  Obviously still finding humor in the situation, he put on a t-shirt displaying the NSA whistleblower Edward Showden’s face and the words “Team Edward”.

German police questioned Daniel Bangert about the ‘demonstration’ he was planning at the US military complex and wanted to know if he had any connections with anarchists or violent people.  Since the joke event would not technically be illegal, police did strongly encourage him to obtain a proper demonstration permit and to not publish any information about their visit online.

NSA Nature Walk

Bangert did obtain a permit, but obviously didn’t take the police’s instructions to keep quiet about them showing up at his door.  He quickly went onto Facebook and wrote “How much more proof do you need… Everyone says that they aren’t affected. But then I invite people for a walk and write obvious nonsense in the invitation and suddenly the federal police show up at my home.”  Der Spiegel got wind of his story and before you knew it he made headlines and saw over 70 people show up for his NSA spy-spotting walk.

 

Sources: Gigaom, Der Spiegel
Photos: Joachim S. Müller [Flickr]

Stephen Fuchs
Stephen founded German Pulse and LGBT Germany out of a passion to introduce Americans to a Germany that goes beyond beer and polka (although with enough beer he has been known to polka it up a bit). He's a coffee addict, lover of wine and good times, a hit in the kitchen and editor of TV commercials. You can follow him on Twitter (@StephenWFuchs) to find out a lot more.
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