The largest Association of hackers in Europe has lodged a criminal proceeding against the government of German for helping a foreign intelligence body, the US NSA and the British GCHQ. The allegations are that the government allowed or colluded with the two spying bodies, and in so doing went against the citizens’ rights of privacy. This criminal case is primarily based on the revelations of Edward Snowden in his leaks.
The ILMR (International League of Human Rights) in conjunction with the CCC (Chaos Computer Lab) filed the suit on Monday against the government at the general Prosecutors Office.
In the suit, the action was brought against the German government and secrets service, the British government and its secret agents, the Minister of German Interior together with the Chancellor dealing with illegal covert operations and the acts of as aiding these activities. The case also involved infringement of the rights of privacy by way of allowing secret agencies such as the NSA and the GCHQ to collect electronic information of the citizens.
The two groups have gone ahead to invite the Edward Snowden, who was the former contractor NSA contractor, to testify in their case. He has also been promised a safer passage in German assuring him that he will not be extradited. Edward Snowden who is hacker revealed the US spying activities to the public, it emerged clearly that some governments such as the German and such these governments have contravened the Constitution and other laws in collaborating with the NSA.
This allegation will definitely lead to an investigation and review of foreign spying agencies and officials of the government who have been breaking the law. According to the law of German, every citizen is protected from spying and surveying techniques. This means that all citizens are affected by these snooping and therefore the offence should be punished.
According to the two parties who lodged the complaint, the investigations are provided for by the law as a necessary step to uncover the truth. The companies also posted on their websites, through the CCC spokesperson, Julius Mittenzwei, that it is very sad that the agencies and the government bodies have not yet been prosecuted for such actions.
There are also accusations leveled against the officials of the government that they are not helpful and most of them are either unwilling or just ignored to conduct the investigations into the issue. Even after facing such challenges, both the ILHR and the CCC have continued to push for the release of more information to the public about the unlawful dealings between the German government with the NSA and GCHQ. According to them, accountability of the government should be paramount.
As this commotion is going on, the Office of the Prosecutor is still in the process of determining if the allegations are propounded enough to warrant the opening of a criminal investigations and prosecution. The spokesman of the German Chancellor, Steffen Seibert refused to give a clear comment on the issue when asked about the matter. The only statement he issued to the public is that all people in German are in a position to go to court and sue.
According to Julius Mittenzwei a CCC activist, there are very strong lawful grounds that must ensure that the surveillance cum spying of German citizens is put to a stop completely. The laws provide that all investigations which are to be done should be written in law. According to the activists, the surveillance cum spying has not been proved to help curb terrorism; hence it is a way of gaining power and control.
Democracy is challenged through the use of this mode of collection of information. According to Mittenzwei the body which is collecting information has no lawful backing or permission to collect the electronic information. Thanks to the leaked documents by one Snowden it is now clearly known that the NSA has been tapping billions of phone calls, messages, internet chats and e-mails of the people of German without a lawful authorization. Some of the revelations were very shocking; according to a written report the US NSA had tapped into the German Chancellor’s phone.
The leaks threatened the diplomatic ties between the countries. In last year November, the German chancellor, Markel demanded for an explanation from the US. Accordingly Washington, they claimed that the tapping and surveillance was carried out in order to tackle national security threats.
Barrack Obama, the President of the US said in January that his country will keep on gathering intelligence of national security. And he assured that the surveillance will not extend to the heads of state of allied countries. He also added that this may change if there are very good reason for the phones of the heads of states to be tapped then it will be done.
This led to negotiation between Washington and Berlin so as to enable a bilateral no-spying agreement. Even though these negotiations have been taking place since August, the two parties have not yet reached to an agreement.