Yes, German Authorities Are Pushing Treason Charges Against Netzpolitik For Publishing Surveillance Plans
from the this-is-ridiculous dept
Naturally, we uploaded the original documents relating to our article because there was still enough disk space and because it is part of our philosophy to enable our readers to inform themselves using the original source. Thus, they can scrutinise us and our reporting.This resulted in claims of an investigation for "treason," though some later clarified that it appeared that the investigation was into who leaked the info to Nezpolitik, and the site's staff were seen as witnesses, rather than potential defendants. Except... nope. It looks like the original fears were accurate.
Netzpolitik has received a letter from the German government telling it that Netzpolitik staffers are being investigated for treason:
If it were up to the Federal Attorney General and the President of the German Domestic Security Agency, two of our reporters would soon be in prison for at least two years. Today, we were officially informed about investigations against our Markus Beckedahl, Andre Meister and an "unknown" party. The accusation: Treason.As Netzpolitik itself notes, this is an incredible attack on the freedom of the press, and the site says it's geared up to fight. Either way, this should really call into question the priorities of the German government, looking to intimidate reporters, rather than hold an open debate about surveillance practices. Makes you wonder what else they're afraid is going to come out....
Today, we received a letter from the Federal Attorney General of Germany confirming ongoing investigations against our reporters Markus Beckedahl, Andre Meister and an "unknown" source, suspecting us of treason according to the German Penal Code:Whosoever […] allows a state secret to come to the attention of an unauthorised person or to become known to the public in order to prejudice the Federal Republic of Germany or benefit a foreign power and thereby creates a danger of serious prejudice to the external security of the Federal Republic of Germany, shall be liable to imprisonment of not less than one year.Until now, we were reported merely as witnesses in the case, but now we shall be held responsible (for treason) like our unknown source(s) – as joint principals.