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Happy New Year, Mr. Orwell


Constitutional complaint filed against German Telecomms Data Retention Act (2007-12-31)

A constitutional complaint directed against the recently executed data retention law and initiated by the German privacy group Arbeitskreis Vorratsdatenspeicherung (Working group on data retention) was filed with the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany today. It is the first time in German history that such a move is backed by about 30,000 complainants. At the same time, Arbeitskreis Vorratsdatenspeicherung is publishing guidelines and recommendations for safeguarding individuals against the obligatory logging of all telecommunications effective as of 2008.
Following the execution of the law by Federal President Horst Köhler, Berlin-based barrister Meinhard Starostik filed a constitutional complaint with the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe this Monday, December 31st. In his 150-pages notice of appeal he also requests an immediate suspension of the law on the grounds of "apparent unconstitutionality".

The appeal is substantiated by the fear that general data retention might severely disrupt free communication in Germany by treating each and any citizen as a potential delinquent. According to the complaint, the pervasive logging of communication patterns without reasonable suspicion resembled a serious encroachment upon the basic values of constitutional legality. On the other hand, it would compromise the working basis of professionals such as journalists and criminal prosecutors as well as that of charitable services like crisis lines - all of which relied greatly on the anonymity of both whistle-blowers and people in need. In the future, sensitive contacts and communication would either have to be conducted in person and face-to-face or would have to be abandoned altogether. Free and open communication as the basic and essential prerequisite of any democratic political system would be lost.

Arbeitskreis Vorratsdatenspeicherung is a German association of civil rights and privacy activists as well as regular Internet users that runs a campaign against the complete logging of all telecommunications.


dear thingsters,

after having moved our main server with much effort to germany earlier this year, we received this charming christmas present from the current german government. they want us to preserve all email traffic header data for 6 months and make it available to law enforcement and secret services on request - in effect bestowing to us the dubious privilege to act as their deputy sheriff. of course we won't do it, we respect the right to privacy. if the constitutional complaint is not successful in influencing the court to trash this stupid law, we simply move our mail server to another country. just to be able to log all the email traffic we'd need a new server anyway and the government would not even compensate internet service providers for the costs (justice minister zypries: "that's their problem...").

so that's how reunification works out. instead of bringing the alleged benefits of capitalist free markets to the east, the west imports an upgraded stasi total control system.

prosit neujahr!

wolfgang staehle

liberty dirt Orwell virus

Keep up the thing fight to be free Wolf, et al. We are in an information war against free thought - thus against good art - and more.

I think that George Orwell had it correct when he said:"I sometimes think that the price of liberty is not so much eternal vigilance as eternal dirt."

Nomad on, all viral spirit ......