Chaos Computer Club Files Criminal Complaint Against German Government Over Mass Spying Revealed By Snowden

from the power-to-the-people dept

As governments around the world refuse to act in the wake of revelations about global spying, more and more people are launching legal actions to force them to address the problem. Back in December we wrote about several that had been filed in the UK, and now the well-known Chaos Computer Club (CCC) in Germany is launching its own legal challenge, in conjunction with the International League for Human Rights:

After months of press releases about mass surveillance by secret services and offensive attacks on information technology systems, we now have certainty that German and other countries’ secret services have violated the German criminal law. With this criminal complaint, we hope to finally initiate investigations by the Federal Prosecutor General against the German government. The CCC has learned with certainty that the leaders of the secret services and the federal government have aided and abetted the commission of these crimes.

It is the understanding of the CCC that these crimes are felonies pursuant to German federal laws, specifically 99 StGB (illegal activity as a foreign spy), §§ 201 ff. StGB (violation of privacy) and § 258 StGB (obstruction of justice).

That’s a very specific claim about which German laws have been broken; less clear is what CCC means by “learned with certainty”: does that simply refer to the information that Snowden’s leaks have provided, or has CCC obtained something more — quite likely given its contacts and past achievements? The complaint also has an important request:

In the criminal complaint, we ask to hear technical expert and whistleblower Edward Snowden as a witness, and that he be provided safe passage and protection against extradition to the US.

As a parting shot, CCC also wants to encourage others to file similar criminal complaints in order to lend weight to their demands:

We do not only want to call the Federal Prosecutor General’s office to investigations but also ask you to get involved and also file a criminal complaint.

Looks like pressure is beginning to build on governments, and it will be interesting to see what other legal actions are filed in Germany and elsewhere.

Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter or, and +glynmoody on Google+

Filed Under: , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Chaos Computer Club Files Criminal Complaint Against German Government Over Mass Spying Revealed By Snowden”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Anonymous Coward says:


The CCC (verified through were somehow butthurt that I LOIC’d (it was 4 years ago when I was barely 20) using 18 computers at my local library (which happens to have really fast symmetric cable internet) some IP in China that wouldn’t stop trying to contact my desktop when I was putting down all defenses except for IPBlock (I use it with certain country IP lists completely blocked + a certain pay-for block list that is worth it for most people).

Anyway…after I did that on the chinese IP, a CCC IP started counter-attacking the whole library and I wondered why the hell such a prestigious hacker group would do this.
They’re guilty of being spooks themselves that’s for sure.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Lol..

Possible. I was scared straight and stopped it all, and so did they. So I viewed it as a warning. But that goddamn chinese ip that was annoying my own personal connection on my desktop at home while ZERO services were running felt to me like it had to be brought down.

Now that I use mostly linux and a very good ddwrt’d asus router, very little of this kind of event makes it to my desktops. And if some are seen, I expect them to be (and often are) things blocked using a very specific paylist to use with iplist/IPBlock (the gui) anti p2p bad guys as my vps’s are usually seedboxes.

Enough personal info revealed for now 😉 But the attacks started after I attacked that damn chinese IP. I have whole countries IP-blocked from contacting me, china, and a whole lot of unsavory and roguish states are blocked.

Anonymous Coward says:

One world government Vs One Sovereign Nation

These are the kind of “compromise” their willing to make, but we are not, yet it will be forced upon us, and if we dont speak up, it is guaranteed

Why do i say this, because i think they’ll throw our concerns out the window, without barely lifting a finger………i hope to be wrong

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

The one united government wouldnt be a bad thing, its the corrupt cunts in power who are the problem.
They claim that these things are needed because of terrorists (obvious bullshit…)
If we would have only one government who wouldnt fuck over entire nations to give more profits to the few rich people, we wouldnt have those “terrorists”.

Anonymous Coward says:

Worthless Promise

“In the criminal complaint, we ask to hear technical expert and whistleblower Edward Snowden as a witness, and that he be provided safe passage and protection against extradition to the US.”

Any such promise would be worthless. The German government has already demonstrated their willingness to violate their own laws.

[name withheld] says:

Looks like reporting error

What I understand, they filed formal notice of suspected crime, which mandates prosecutor to investigate, and make official decision to indict (or refuse). Then, it gives the notifier right to appeal, with prosecutor having explain grounds for prior action. All on record. Good move.

They should sue individuals as well at the very same time under European Charter of Human Rights (right to privacy). They can easly obtain injunction, what I understand Brits did last week against their criminals.

Anonymous Coward says:


How can any court hear these downstream “aiding-and-abetting” cases, that are so boldly assuming the guilt of alleged-law-breakers. Even if self-incrimating confessions surfaced.

Is the CCC is ironically re-using this newly minted “un-knowingly aided-and-abetted a probably-crim” argument to legally threaten their government?

This sounds like the argument the american government is using to leverage journalists. Far from blatantly working with potential-crims WITHOUT considering their duty to abide by democratic & journalistic legalities– the US Gov (and now CCC) seem to want a legal test of whether (and yes, some german or american or international court might find) the publisher (and now german gov) happened to guess incorrectly when complying with the as-yet-prosecuted entity (snowden, and now the CCC’s adversary: a german government agency).

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...