Hamburger Erklärung

Die Fakten

The whistleblower, Edward Snowden, revealed the mass surveillance of all citizens and by doing so he disclosed a historical unprecedented intrusion on the basic civil rights regarding privacy. This action cannot be compared to common espionage. Democratic parties, institutions and citizens are obligated to do all in their power to fend off this encroachment.

Mass surveillance is not only an intrusion on individual privacy. This kind of surveillance does not only degrade citizens by means of spying, but also erodes our foundation of free democratic order. It represses any opposition by citizens against a government. This type of control promotes conformity, obedience (e.g. by fear) and the withdrawal of public presence. Mass surveillance is a typical characteristic of a totalitarian state. Thus, these actions will eventually destroy a democratic order. For example, the civil rights movement of Martin Luther King was also illegally spied on and antagonized by the FBI of the US government. (

Mass surveillance is a major threat to the well-being of large and medium-sized industries because it enables extensive espionage. It would be too naïve to believe that mass surveillance is only used to prevent terrorist attacks. In the bill of law under the » Intelligence Service Act of 1994 « you can find proof of this statement. Within this bill of law the task of the secret service is denoted among others as the preservation of the British economic well-being.

If private e-mails, telephone calls and data can be unconditionally collected and analyzed by the government we open our doors to political and economical extortion. No human is completely unblemished and we all have our weak points. It is historically proven that the former head of the FBI, Edgar J. Hoover, used such information to extort politicians.

The work of physicians, lawyers, journalists and clerics are especially dependent on the legal right of confidentiality as well as professional obligations regarding secrecy in order to fulfill their obligation to society. It also shows the deceiving second-rank of the data collection. For example: Calling a lawyer or a substance abuse clinic already allows compelling conclusions about the life circumstances of a person.

We demand from the German government:

  • An announcement that mass surveillance without cause and given suspicion of German citizens is a gross violation of the basic civil law and of the German criminal law regardless of where the violation takes place. These violations are incompatible with any free democratic order and these actions have to be terminated.

  • Summon the ambassadors of the USA and Great Britain to clarify this point of view and request the immediate cessation of mass surveillance.

  • Investigate the possibilities of all legal actions against Great Britain as a member of the EU.

  • Adjourn the negotiations with the US about the “Free Trade Agreement” and cancel the “Safe Harbour treaty”, as well as the bilateral agreements regarding flight passenger’s data until the US ceases their mass surveillance policy and activity.

  • Shut down all NSA locations in Germany so that Germany retrieves its status as a sovereign state.

  • Inspect all networks and network providers in Germany regarding their integrity to ensure that no full-take or any “take” on data is possible.

  • Initiate a strict monitoring of the BND (intelligence service) and the Federal office for the Protection of the constitution.

  • Ensure that future reports are filed as complete statements in front of parliamentary control boards and that they are filed under oath

  • Stop the use of programs such as Xkeyscore or place them at least under strict control regarding suspicious use.