Google will halt Gmail service in Germany next year if the country enacts aggressive surveillance legislation pending in the Bundestag. The law, which reflects EU regs on data retention, would compel telecom companies to keep records of Internet and phone activity for 6 months, Der Spiegel reports. A company consultant calls the measure a "heavy blow against the private sphere."
Gmail doesn’t earn the highest scores from pro-privacy groups, but it does offer anonymous accounts and has been lauded for withholding information from government inspection. Google calls shutting out German users an emergency move, intended to demonstrate its support for consumers as they battle big and small concerns—namely, political repression and spam.