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Criminal complaint over NSA

February 3, 2014

German hackers and activists have filed a criminal complaint against their government for allegedly breaking the law by aiding foreign spies. They point to documents released by the NSA leaker Edward Snowden as evidence.

Germany-US espionage
Image: Imago

The Chaos Computer Club, International League for Human Rights and electronic civil-liberties watchdog Digitalcourage announced their complaint Monday.

The groups claim Chancellor Angela Merkel's government and intelligence services tolerated espionage, effectively helping the US National Spy Agency (NSA) and Britain's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) spy on German citizens.

In a statement, the groups wrote that they intended the criminal complaint to spark a "long-overdue investigation by federal prosecutors" into alleged lawbreaking by German officials and foreign spies.

The groups also called for the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to be brought to Germany as a witness in espionage investigations. In October, it emerged through documents released by Snowden that the NSA had been keeping tabs on Merkel's personal communications.

"When Angela Merkel's mobile phone is kept under surveillance, it's clear that this is not about terrorism suspicions," Digitalcourage's Rena Tangens told the German news agency DPA.

For months, federal prosecutors have considered opening an investigation into NSA activities within Germany.

mkg/ccp (dpa, AP)