Hackers Sue German Government Over NSA Surveillance

The Chaos Computer Club has filed a public complaint accusing the German government of illegally collaborating with the NSA's surveillance programs.
Posted at 6:31 PM, Feb 03, 2014

A leading organization of hackers is suing the German government over its alleged collaboration with the National Security Agency's surveillance programs.

The German-based Chaos Computer Club, along with the International League for Human Rights, filed a criminal complaint with Germany's federal prosecutor Monday. The CCC says after recent revelations about the international intelligence community, "we now have certainty that German and other countries' secret services have violated the German criminal law."

The complaint involves revelations made by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who caused an international uproar back in July after he leaked a horde of secret documents exposing the agency's controversial surveillance practices. (Via The Guardian)

In a Jan. 26 interview with German public broadcaster NDR, Snowden described the relationship between the NSA and German intelligence agencies as "intimate."

"The German services and the U.S. services are in bed together. They not only share information, the reporting of results from intelligence, but they actually share the tools and the infrastructure."

The CCC isn't the first German group to take legal action over the Snowden leaks. According to PCWorld, Germany's federal prosecutor office has received several similar complaints in the past, and is currently mulling whether to take legal action.

And German magazine Der Spiegel recently reported the prosecutor might open an official investigation into the NSA's targeting of Merkel's cell phone. The magazine notes such an investigation would put further pressure on the already strained ties between the U.S. and Germany.

As part of their complaint, the CCC requests prosecutors call on Snowden to testify in court and provide him with safe passage to Germany along with immunity from extradition.