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.

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Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Feb 3rd, 2014 @ 8:11am

    Yeah, considering the US got the plane of a foreign head of state grounded because Snowden might have been on it... it wouldn't matter if the entire German government agreed to state protection and a refusal of extradition for Snowden to come be a witness, it would still be insanely stupid for him to go.

     

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  2.  
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    Irving, Feb 3rd, 2014 @ 10:00am

    Are people not aware that the judiciary is a branch of government? Good luck getting the left hand to smack down the right.....

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2014 @ 10:23am

    Lol..

    The CCC (verified through maxmind.com) 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.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2014 @ 10:27am

    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

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2014 @ 10:41am

    It's time to bring these criminals to justice. The people demand justice.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2014 @ 10:41am

    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".

     

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  7.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 3rd, 2014 @ 10:47am

    Re: Lol..

    Hmmm... you admit to a crime and we're still supposed to trust your word and judgment about the CCC?

     

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  8.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 3rd, 2014 @ 10:48am

    Re: Re:

    The fact that we will always have corrupt assholes in power is the very thing that makes any kind of one world government so dangerous.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2014 @ 1:35pm

    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.

     

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  10.  
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    [name withheld], Feb 3rd, 2014 @ 4:33pm

    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.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2014 @ 5:33pm

    irony?

    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).

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Q, Feb 3rd, 2014 @ 8:40pm

    Is spying the New World Order that President George Bush the first was referring to?

     

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  13.  
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    techflaws (profile), Feb 3rd, 2014 @ 10:50pm

    Re: Lol..

    Even at 24+ you still sound like script-kiddie. Way to go!

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2014 @ 12:56am

    Re: Lol..

    My guess, probably because your packets were transiting through a route that people needed to use, and causing loss of performance, so they tried to bring you down.

     

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  15.  
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    Ninja (profile), Feb 4th, 2014 @ 2:34am

    Re:

    Technically there are three branches to split the power evenly and let the others smack the power that goes rogue for some reason. I do believe that Germany has a better chance of kicking the Executive back to its place given their quite recent history. They experienced first hand what a rogue executive can do.

     

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  16.  
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    Michael, Feb 4th, 2014 @ 5:51am

    well, they will just show what democracy and human rughts are worth in a globalized corporate world. nothing.

    in others words:
    who has the money has the power.
    who has the power is in the right.

     

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  17.  
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    Clownius, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 6:34am

    Re:

    I know in Australia the Judiciary has no problem smacking down bad laws by Parliament and politicians that step to far out of line.

    I know its unheard of in the USA but in free countries around the world with working Democracies its not that unusual to see the Judiciary smack down the politicians.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 3:04pm

    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.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 5:59pm

    Re:

    It's the shadow government that's beyond the reach of actual elected officials who are fed a different story than the plebs, but still a false one which causes them to cancel their constituents and indeed their own freedom out of fear of something they are prohibited from telling the plebs.

    So, yes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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