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    Explanation of the name for non-German speaking folks: Zwiebel is German for Onion and ‘freunde’ are friends.

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      An update from the second of the linked articles:

      Update August 23rd: The court has confirmed that the searches and seizures were illegal. (Allegedly, no documents or equipment was analysed/evaluated. We are trying to get that confirmed in writing.)

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        I’d be interested in reading a neutral account of why this raid happened.

        Edit gleaned from my Twitter feed


        German privacy activist organizations raided as part of investigation into anonymous website that called for violent protests against far-right political group.

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          Hell! Did they abolished the rule of law while nobody was looking?

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            I doubt it. It’s Germany, they do follow the law. Also, they have a history of domestic terrorism.

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              In Germany, illegal searches are relatively common. I don’t want to say “all the time”, but regularly. They are later ruled (partially) illegal, the assets returned, and some costs paid.

              Searches may be illegal (and I’m dead sure this will be ruled with Zwiebelfreunde as well) because the police tends to search more then they are allowed to. Entering rooms that are not to be searched, opening cabinets they are not allowed to open, getting permissions that they are not allowed to get. The police is aware of that, but also aware that there are no repercussions for transgressions.

              The problem is that we have no such thing as “fruit of the poisonous tree”. The legal proceedings can still continue except in very crass cases if something “additional” is found.

              Sadly in german, but here’s an interview with a constitutional judge(!) on the subject, stating that many of them are violating the constitution. http://www.taz.de/!5108848/

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                I believe you are also having some politicians vs. federal constitutional court conflict going?

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                  We regularly have, but this is not part of that. The practice I describe here is old.

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                Sadly, we had our issues with domestic terrorism in Italy too, but we still feel the shame for the police behaviour in 2001, at Diaz school.

                But you cannot preserve law and security by arresting people for drawings on a whiteboard.

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                  but we still feel the shame for the police behaviour in 2001, at Diaz school.

                  This is the first time I’m hearing of that. Wow. That’s horrible. :(

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                    I heard about it a year or two ago. Took me a while to calm down that night. They weren’t even sneaking around or trying to justify themselves like the corrupt cops often do over here. Just in-your-face, systematic brutality. That’s the exact kind of shit that we have the 2nd Amendment for. I mean, elite propaganda kept people from using it or even voting right. Still, I can’t think of any other option in a situation like that if you don’t want a pile of screaming, beat-down people in a building.

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                      Just in-your-face, systematic brutality.

                      During cold war, in Italy, we had all sort of these things, in particular in the late 60 against students’ protests and political activists.

                      The effect was twofold: some people were afraid to express their political opinions if they were not aligned with the Government, but it also spread radical extremism that used to justify armed war as a reaction to State’s violence.

                      In reality, violent revolutionaries were actually useful to the US aligned government to justify repression against the pacific but effective political culture of the left. So much that in 2001, members of the police were sent among manifestants as “black blocks” that launched molotov against civil buildings in the streets and against police to justify the repression.

                      This is why in Italy we do not consider arming civilians an option against the power: because trained cop are more effective and better armed anyway but if protestants are armed and dangerous you can justify any sort of repression.

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                Unlikely, from what I gathered, this is a search warrant for witnesses. Additionally taking all equipment that looks vaguely like computers and CD ROMs isn’t that unusual, police officers are sadly not that trained in this direction, some of them have trouble operating computers (a fellow student in my CS courses has taken part in a “computer course” for the police which largely consisted of the bare minimum of excel and word usage). It’s not the first time something like this happens (there are various accounts of this happening in the past, for example, a CCC member having their home equipment taken even though the warrant said “take the server the stuff happened on” and the server was in another datacenter).

                The requirements for being a police officer in germany don’t intersect well with having basic knowledge of computers.