A group of computer hackers and human rights campaigners in Germany say they are suing their government for allegedly breaking the law by aiding foreign spies.

The Chaos Computer Club and the International League for Human Rights said they submitted a criminal complaint Monday claiming that Chancellor Angela Merkel and her government tolerated spying and effectively even helped members of the US National Security Agency and Britain’s GCHQ to spy on German citizens.

The groups point to documents released by NSA leaker Edward Snowden as evidence.

In a statement they say the criminal complaint is meant to spark a “long-overdue investigation by federal prosecutors” into alleged lawbreaking by German officials and foreign spies.

Federal prosecutors have been considering for months whether to open an investigation of alleged NSA activities.

The Belgian authorities have launched an inquiry into a fresh instance of computer hacking. This time the victim is a renowned Belgian mathematician, cryptographer and data security expert, Professor Jean-Jacques Quisquater. Preliminary evidence suggests that Prof. Quinsquater’s computer could have been hacked by the US National Security Agency (NSA) or/and Britain’s GCHQ spy agency.

The cyber attack was carried through a link of the social website LinkedIn.

“I received an ordinary e-mail asking me to connect to LinkedIn. I often receive that kind of mail. I didn’t open it, I just looked at the content. It was sent by I person I know. At least, at first sight, because in reality it was sent by someone else. By the time I realised that, it was already too late as I had clicked on the link containing the person’s profile,” Prof. Quisquater, who acts as a security consultant for dozens of companies, told reporters.

“My computer started to do strange things. If I have been hacked, there are bound to be hundreds of other cases where individuals were spied on. Also in Belgium,” he said.

The malware had been used to hack into Quisquater’s computer were reportedly the same as in the high-profile Belgacom hacking case.

Quisquater has 17 patents to his name and was awarded the RSA Conference Award for Excellence in the Field of Mathematics.

One reason why the NSA could have targeted him could be his work on secure data exchange over the Internet. Quisquater had contacts with the Dutch-based NXP Corporation specializing in electronic equipment and communications security. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone tapped by the NSA had the NXP data protection technology.

A week ago, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden told Germany’s ARD broadcaster that not only the NSA had only been monitoring millions of computers and mobile phones worldwide for reasons of national security but that it was also engaged in industrial espionage.

source: voice of russia