One of the oldest computer hacking associations in Europe, the Chaos Computer Club (CCC), has filed a criminal complaint against the German government over alleged illegal and prohibited covert surveillance.
CCC intends to call Edward Snowden, the former United States National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, as a technical expert witness in its case.
Together with the International League for Human Rights (ILMR) lobby group, the CCC has accused the federal German government and its intelligence agencies of "bearing and cooperating with the electronic surveillance of German citizens by [US and British spy agencies] NSA and GCHQ".
The CCC and ILMR said such surveillance violates Germans' right to privacy as well as national law.
They allege the German government and its secret agents broke at least three laws in the country that prohibit illegal activity as a foreign spy, violation of privacy and obstruction of justice.
CCC member and lawyer Dr Julius Mittenzwei said the laws were in place to protect every citizen of Germany.
"Therefore an investigation by the Federal Prosecutor General is necessary and mandatory by law – and a matter of course. It is unfortunate that those responsible and the circumstances of their crimes have not been investigated," Dr Mittenzwei said.