When it comes to privacy, Germans can’t take a joke. After it was revealed that the U.S. National Security Agency had intercepted calls in Germany, sales of old-school typewriters were reported to have skyrocketed, as some Germans assumed that sending letters might make communications surveillance harder for U.S. officials.
It’s not only American surveillance that Germans are concerned about, however. On Tuesday, a 29-year old man was arrested at Frankfurt Airport after authorities noticed that he had microwaved his German identification card, reported German news agency dpa.
According to a police statement, the man was concerned that his privacy might be violated by the microchip that has been embedded in all German IDs since 2010. The man now faces either a fine or time in jail for the offense of illegally modifying official documents. According to German law, identification documents are state property.
Microwaving one’s I.D. is in fact not as uncommon as one would expect. Here’s a video of a literally exploding German identification document.