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.
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:
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).
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.