Staff of RT’s video agency Ruptly were detained for several hours by Berlin police while filming the Anonymous 'United Stasi of America' action. Despite the crew having official permission to work in the area, police attempted to confiscate the footage.
The reporters were searched and detained for two hours. Police released the Ruptly team without charges as they found no grounds to seize the memory card with the video.
On July 14, Anonymous activists protested government surveillance programs by beaming giant words reading 'United Stasi of America' across the US embassy wall near the Brandenburg Gate in central Berlin.
The projected note – up to three meters high – made reference to the former East German secret police, the Stasi.
The projection came from the car parked across the embassy and only lasted for two minutes. After that, three Anonymous activists packed up and left the scene.
However, a handful of police proceeded to detain the journalists filming on location.
“The police considered them first as suspects and then as Anonymous conspirators,” Ruptly said.
"Staffers of Ruptly video agency were shooting Anonymous actions and they had all the necessary work permits and accreditation. In this case, any fact of confiscation is illegal, so the Berlin police failed to remove our stuff," said Margarita Simonyan, RT’s editor-in-chief.
In June, German magazine Der Spiegel reported that the US combs through half a billion German phone calls, emails and text messages each month, and has classified Germany on the same target level as China.
Back then Markus Ferber, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Bavarian sister party and member of the European Parliament, accused Washington of using "American-style Stasi methods," thus comparing them to the communist East Germany’s much-dreaded Ministry for State Security (Stasi).
The Stasi secret police employed a network of informants that served as watchdogs against any forms of government dissent. Spies reported the actions of friends and relatives, drilled holes into apartments and hotel rooms to film citizens with hidden cameras, and infiltrated schools and universities. In some cases, spouses and family members spied on each other.