On June 20th, in order to gather data on a Riseup user, our fiscal sponsor in the EU was raided by the Bavarian police. This extreme overreach included raids on several homes, a hackerspace, a social center, and a lawyer’s office. The police took all the computers, cell phones, disks, and records that they could. Several people were arrested and are now out and safe. However, as a consequence of these raids, the police have filed a number of unrelated charges.
What caused the police-state to raise up its ugly head? In this case, the justification was a website created to organize against a rally of an extreme right political party. It seems in Bavaria, you cannot make a website that tries to get people to come protest neo-fascists without also offending the police. The website had a riseup.net email address listed for a contact, and knowing they cannot get information from Riseup, the police looked at Riseup’s donate page and found we accept donations in Europe through a non-profit organization (“Verein”) based in Germany called Zwiebelfreunde. They decided this meant that Riseup was run by this organization (it is not), and so aggressively targeted this organization.
What does this mean for you, dear Riseup user?
First, don’t panic. All your data stored by Riseup is still secure.
Second, if you donated to Riseup via our European IBAN mechanism then there is a good chance the German police now have a record of your bank account number, name, amount you donated, and the date of the donation.
Third, please join us in supporting our friends and allies at Zwiebelfreunde0. They are amazing and need your support. In the coming weeks, information will be posted to their website detailing ways that you can help.
In solidarity, The Riseup Birds