A German man whose identity has yet to be released was arrested at the airport in Frankfurt after security personal noticed he had microwaved his ID in an attempt to deactivate the microchip, and protect his privacy. He has been charged with Illegally Modifying Official Documents, and Tampering with State property.
These charges are worrisome as there are potentially thousands of people who have done the same thing. The practice is not uncommon in the EU, as the populace has been subjected to surveillance, and other tactics aimed at eroding privacy. Here in the US we have found out that very similar programs are operational in the US after Snowden made public his information leak revolving around domestic surveillance.
The practice of microchipping IDs in Germany has been going on for 5 years, and they are not alone when it comes to E-ID, 20 other countries including Israel, Spain, and Portugal. In the Snowden leaks it was uncovered that the NSA had spied on German telecommunications, through the “Treasure Map” program.
Germans take their privacy so seriously that after it was released that the NSA had intercepted calls in Germany, typewriter purchases went through the roof as people thought letters would be harder for US intelligence analysts to get their hands on. After decades of state spying, from Nazi Germany to the fall of the Berlin wall its only natural that the population would hold a healthy distrust of state surveillance.
Markwart Faussner in an interview with Washington Posts WorldViews had this to say about the practice.
“Much of this can be explained historically, Germans have experienced observation throughout the 20th century. After the Nazi era, the Stasi intelligence service in the former East Germany monitored most of the country’s citizens. When the Berlin Wall fell, East Germans suddenly found out from official government files that their friends or even family members had spied on them for years or decades. Hence, there is still a deeply rooted suspicion of state authorities in Germany,”
Here is a video of someone microwaving their ID.