set. 262008

Pel dia 11 d’Octubre es preparen diferents accions a totes les capitals europees contra les noves politiques de retenció de dades i vigilància dels ciutadans arreu d’Europa.

Letter to organisations and networks in Europe


Dear friends of freedom!

On the 11th of October 2008, human and civil rights organizations from
all over Europe are planning protests in every European capital.

This Pan-European campaign hopes to raise awareness for the need for
greater freedom and democracy in Europe, as well as a protest against
the security and intelligence apparatus of the state contravening human
rights by means of surveillance, data retention and biometric databases
across Europe.

We believe that the retention of citizen’s electronic communication
violates fundamental human rights, like the right to privacy. It
violates confidential communication between priests and confessors,
journalists and their sources, doctors and patients, lawyers and
clients. It does not increase the success of criminal investigations,
but instead can be used to reveal political, business, and private
communication and endangers the work of political, direct aid and
refugee support groups.

We would kindly ask you to support this Europe-wide protest by
disseminating the call for action to your own members or organization
and other like-minded organizations. In a lot of European countries,
organizational, logistic and financial support is very welcome!

* The goal is to form broad and sustainable movements in every EU-member
state for freedom and democracy.*

We would like to see hundreds of thousands of people everywhere to stand
up for the vision of a just society.

The European Call for Action will follow soon. Actually, we are working
on it in an open process, so you are invited to participate.[3]

You may find the draft Call for action below.

Please note: it’s a draft, feel free to edit and discuss. Deadline is
20. July and it should be released by all participating organizations
with an individual press Release an 25. July.

We would also be happy if you and your national member organizations are
kindly would sign and support the Call for Action and the campaign itself.

You will understand that the whole campaign will cost a lot of money.
Thus, the organizations in the member states are asked to look for
funding themselves and in every country money is desperately needed.

We have set up an organizational website, where every country is listed.
In some states the contact data of a main organizer are missing, which
simply means, that every organization is welcome to start organizing
protest there.

If you have any further questions or comments, please do not hesitate to
contact me, you’ll find my contact data below.

Best regards / Viele Gr?e,
Ricardo Cristof Remmert-Fontes
– AK Vorrat –

Fon: +49-30-692099223
Fax: +49-700-25808789
Mobile: +49-170-2487266

+++++ References +++++

The protest is based on an idea of the “AK Vorrat” (“German Working
group on data retention”;, a german human
rights group, which is supported in Germany by over 49 national
organizations like human and civil rights groups, associations of
journalists, lawyers and doctors, the associations of confessional and
emergency help lines.[1][2]

[1] The AK Vorrat has filed the largest “class-action” constitutional
case of all times in Germany (as a symbol) against the adoption of the
european directive on data retention (DR 2006/24/EC): (de/en)

[2] Joint statement on the draft bill on telecommunications data
retention of 49 organisations (including FFII Germany):

[3] Link to Draft European Call for Action:

+++++Draft Call for Action+++++

* European Action Day “Freedom not fear – Stop the surveillance mania!”
all over Europe on 11 October 2008*

A broad movement of campaigners and organizations is calling on
everybody to join action against excessive surveillance by businesses
and governments. On 11 October 2008, concerned humans all over Europe
will take to the streets, the motto being “Freedom not fear 2008”.
Peaceful and creative action, from protest marches to parties, will take
place in many European capital cities.

Surveillance mania is spreading. Governments and businesses register,
monitor and control our behaviour ever more thoroughly. No matter what
we do, who we phone and talk to, where we go, whom we are friends with,
what our interests are, which groups we participate in – “big brother”
government and “little brothers” in business know it more and more
thoroughly. Increasingly, these databases are networked, searched, rated
and otherwise utilized for discriminating people and affecting their
lives without human any oversight.

The resulting lack of privacy and confidentiality is putting at risk the
freedom of confession, the freedom of speech as well as the work of
doctors, helplines, lawyers and journalists.

The manifold agenda of security sector reform encompasses the
convergence of police, intelligence agencies and the military,
threatening to melt down the division and balance of powers.

Using methods of mass surveillance, the borderless cooperation of the
military, intelligence services and police authorities is leading
towards a “Fortress Europe”, directed against refugees and
different-looking people but also affecting, for example, political
activists, the poor and under-priviledged, and sports fans.

People who constantly feel watched and under surveillance cannot freely
and courageously stand up for their rights and for a just society. Mass
surveillance is thereby threatening the fabric of a democratic and
inclusive society.

Mass surveillance is also endangering the work and commitment of civil
society organizations.

Surveillance, distrust and fear are gradually transforming our society
into one of uncritical consumers who have “nothing to hide” and – in a
vain attempt to achieve total security – are prepared to give up their
freedoms. We do not want to live in such a society!

We believe the respect for our privacy to be an important part of our
human dignity. And of course, free and responsible society needs private
and trustworthy communication as well as private spaces.

However, with the blanket collection of information on all European
airline passengers and the disclosure of Europeans’ personal data to the
US, even more intrusive surveillance powers are on the insatiable
political agenda. Yet, the increasing electronic registration and
surveillance of the entire population does not make us any safer from
crime, costs millions of Euros and puts the privacy of innocent citizens
at risk. Under the reign of fear and blind actionism, targeted and
sustained security measures fall by the wayside, as well as tackeling
peoples’ actual daily problems such as unemployment and poverty.

In order to protest against security mania and excessive surveillance we
will take to the streets in capital cities all over Europe on 11 October
2008. We call on everybody to join our peaceful protest.
Politicians are to see that we are willing to take to the streets for
the protection of our liberties.

You can find the latest information on the protest marches and the list
of participating cities at our website:

Our demands

1.. Cutback on surveillance
* abolish the blanket logging of our communications and locations (data
* abolish the blanket collection of our biometric data as well as RFID
* abolish the blanket collection of genetic data
* abolish permanent CCTV camera surveillance and automatic detection
* scrap funding for the development of new surveillance techniques
* no blanket registration of all air travellers (PNR data)
* no information exchange with the US and other states lacking effective
data protection
* no searches of private computer systems, neither online nor offline
* no surveillance and filtering of internet communication

2. Guaranteeing freedom of expression, dialogue and information
* Prohibit the installation of filtering infrastructure on ISP’s networks.
* Ensure Internet users can access to the judge in matter of freedom of
expression: Only an independent and impartial judge can request removal
of content.
* Prohibit the internet contract termination as legal sanction.
* Ensure the strict neutrality of technical intermediaries: FAI, and
hosting providers do not ahve to monitor, judge and censor the published
* Create a full right to quote multimedia, today indispensable to public
debate in democracies.
* Protect common internet places of Expression (participatory sites,
forums, comments on blogs) today threatened by inadequate laws
encouraging self-censorship (chilling effect)

3. Evaluation of existing surveillance powers

We call for an independent review of all existing surveillance powers as
to their effectiveness and harmful side-effects.

4. Moratorium for new surveillance powers

After the homeland armament of the past few years we demand an immediate
hold to new homeland security laws that further restrict civil liberties.

Karel Novotny
Knowledge Sharing Projects Coordinator
Strategic Use Programme
APC – The Association for Progressive Communications
La Asociación para el Progreso de las Comunicaciones

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