Why is the German Privacy Community so huge?

I mean compared to the USA or other countries has Germany not that many people.

But if you look who hosts all the Tor Nodes or who develops the Open Source Projects then you will see that it are realy often germans.

Is it a cultural thing?

1 Like

It’s probably better to wait for someone who’s better educated :slight_smile: But one thing I do know is how during WWII, Hitler used census data to help track down his targeted demographics, so the Germans have a very recent and very real example of the importance of privacy.

I found this writeup here that covers other historical incidents that likely all help shape the current German stances towards privacy.


I think the community is generally bigger in Europe, possibly down to the EU’s focus on it. That being said it is definitely even bigger in Germany and I am not entirely sure why.


As a German, I am pretty sure that this has nothing to do with WW2.

1 Like

I see two reasons for this:

  • WW2: In the Netherlands, a citizens’ register was created before World War II. The information included name, address, religious affiliation, etc. This information was misused during WW2 by the Nazis to find the Jews. I believe this was also the case in Germany.
  • East Germany: A little bit later (1949-1990!) Germany was separated into two independent states. East and West Germany. East Germany was known as DDR = German Democratic Republic. This was not a democracy according to Western understanding, but a dictatorial system under strong Soviet influence.
    The Stasi (a secret police force at the time) produced secret reports for people at the top. What is the mood among the population? For this, letters were secretly read, files were kept, “measures” were taken so that no one could secretly start a revolution. It was also “prevented” that people could escape to the West (West Germany) (e.g. people shot at the border when trying to escape surveillance). This was also why the fall of the wall was so important…people broke free from surveillance and control.

So when a German complains about a lack of data protection, they know what they are talking about :wink:


Germany is probably overrepresented when you look at Tor Nodes or other server/IP-based stats, because one of the biggest budget server hosts in the world (Hetzner) is a German company.

Maybe also good to know for your understanding as you mentioned “not so many people” compared to the US (which is true).

German speaking area

Germany 82 Mio people
Austria 9 Mio people
Switzerland 9 Mio people
= 100 Mio people

USA 331,5 Mio people

…Germany, Austria and Switzerland together don’t match the size of whole Texas.
So we are talking of 1/3 of the population of the U.S. on a much smaller size of land, better connected :wink:

If we play the game the other way around
texas has a population of 30 mio people
ALL inhabitans of florida, california, colorado and wisconsin would need to move to texas to form such a community :wink:

in numbers:
florida 21,5 mio people
california 40 mio people
colorado 6 mio people
wisconsin 5 mio people

1 Like

Hello I´m from Germany. And in Germany we have the almost stricktest privacy laws in the world.

Note: My english isnt the best im sorry for all grammatical issues