Surveillance: We Must Support Netzpolitik Against the German Government Pressure!

Paris, 15 July 2015 — La Quadrature du Net strongly condemns the attempts to intimidate the German website Netzpolitik, accused of treason by the German court for publishing documents revealing the extension of Internet surveillance by the German secret services. La Quadrature du Net supports the German activists being pressured by the authorities for defending fundamental freedoms.

Netzpolitik, the German website defending fundamental freedoms, has been charged for “treason” on 10 July by demand of the president of the German intelligence services. The case will be lead by the federal prosecutor in charge of espionage and terrorism.

The accusation is charging the Netzpolitk activists with publishing, in two articles in February and April 2015, leaked documents describing the new surveillance tools used by the German intelligence services. German newspapers had already revealed the reality of how the services' powers were extended, but hadn't published internal documents.

In the name of the right to inform, Netzpolitik claims the right to publish the original sources of the surveillance programs they contest so that citizens may be aware about the scale of the spying citizens they are subjected to, even if this surveillance was approved by their MPs.

La Quadrature du Net expresses its support and solidarity with the defenders of liberties of Netzpolitik and strongly condemns the intimidation and the legal threats they are being subjected to. At a time when, in France, the recent Intelligence Law punishes the revelation of surveillance activities, even if those activities are illegal, without providing any serious measures to protect whistleblowers, it is fundamental to protect those who work to inform citizens.

“The relationship between freedoms-defending civil society and intelligence services backed by public authorities is rapidly degrading. Claiming the "raison d'État", intelligence agencies have no hesitations in using such an argument to crush all attempts by citizens to control surveillance. In Germany, as is the case in France, the many revelations on domestic surveillance by our own agencies, or foreign surveillance by the NSA are met with the closed doors of State secrecy. Citizens have a right to be informed and the duty to revolt, and we will side with our friends in Netzpolitik in their fight for the defence of fundamental rights.” declared Philippe Aigrain, co-founder and member of La Quadrature du Net's Strategic Orientation Council.