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Civil rights activists call for protests against surveillance (2008-07-28) Print E-mail

Civil rights organizations call for protests against the constant increase of surveillance conducted by governments and enterprises. A rally under the motto "Freedom not Fear" will be held in Berlin on October 11, 2008. The organizers agree that it is high time to take to the streets in order to defend basic constitutional rights in the light of an ongoing intensification of security and surveillance measures. The rally turns against the promotion of the Federal Criminal Police Office ("Bundeskriminalamt") to a central, executive police agency with the permission to secretively spy into citizens' home computers.

After last year's demonstration for democracy and civil rights, which was the largest in Germany within 20 years [1] with over 15.000 participants, protesters in several countries will for the first time simultaneously take to the streets to demonstrate for their freedom. Currently, 15 countries have announced their participation in the international action day on October 11. [2] Such unanimous protests are mainly due to the ongoing shift of politicians to push through negotiations on surveillance and control measures behind closed doors. Among others, the international protest criticizes the planned total registration of all air travelers in the EU, the planned delivery of data to the USA, biometric data in EU identification documents, as well as the retention of telecommunication data such as phone connections or a caller's whereabouts for all 455 Million Europeans.

Against this political spiral of interior armament motivated by crime-related dangers, civil society places the call for "Freedom not Fear". A moratory for all surveillance activities and the reduction of all mass scale surveillance, as well as an expansion of digital rights are demanded to protect and strengthen civil liberties. In addition, activists call for an independent review of every single planned or existing surveillance and control measure in regard to its effectiveness and undesired side-effects.

In the run-up to this action day, the German Work Group on Data Retention ("Arbeitskreis Vorratsdatenspeicherung") calls for participation in the Munich demonstration "Freiheit Weiß-Blau - Stoppt den Überwachungswahn" on September 20, 2008, which targets the restrictions of the right to free assembly and other surveillance measures in the state of Bavaria. [3] In addition, the OneWebDay [4] on September 22, 2008, will serve as a means for further mobilizing for the "Freedom not Fear" action day.

The latest news about the action day "Freedom not Fear" on October 11, as well as information about possibilities for participation are found on the Internet under

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