2.643.511 DKK donated in total Donations are updated manually
1 Million

Let's stop the mass surveillance!

The mass surveillance conducted by European governments has on two occasions been struck down by the European Court of Justice. Most recently this happened in 2016 when the court reviewed the joint case of Tele2 from Sweden and Tom Watson et al from England and Wales. However Danish politicians and telco industry refuse to honour fundamental rights and continue to retain data illegally.

We are a motley crew of human rights advocates and privacy campaigners that have come together to use the courts to send a simple message: Honour the law and respect our fundamental rights.

We have filed our suit against the Danish ministry of justice. You can download the subpœna (in Danish) here (pdf). The lawsuit has been deemed important and as such referred to district court, but the government has twice been successful in delaying proceedings. Currently the case is on hold until March 2020, awaiting the decision by the European Court of Justice in the case of Ordre des barreaux francophones and others.

There is no doubt that we will win the case, so the government has no other tactic than to delay the inevitable while trying to bankrupt us. This is done by submitting ridiculous pleadings, which we are forced to pay our attorneys to respond to. Thus we need your help!

But why?

The rule of law is necessary to maintain a democratic society. Privacy, liberty, peaceful protests and freedom of speech and thought are essential to keep the public debate free and open. The right to a fair trial by an independent judiciary is an overlying guarantee necessary to uphold any other right.

The illegal data retention infringes all of these rights. Illegally obtained evidence is admissible in Danish courts, so illegally retained metadata is commonly used by the prosecutors. The same data is useless for the defense. If your phone was not at the scene of the crime, the prosecutors argue it is proof of cover-up.

The police have easier access to the data, and your defense is not guaranteed to be notified of their access. The police edit the data before submitting it to the court. This was accepted until 2019, when they admitted that data had been corrupted in thousands of cases.

The Danish constitution have few rights, and most can be set aside by parliament. Our case relies on the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, and will set a new precedent for human rights in Denmark.

Tell me more!

The Danish telecom industry is still retaining data, in violation of the human rights of their customers. Attempting to justify their illegal actions, the Telecom Association have published a letter from the former minister of justice, Søren Pape Poulsen, telling them to disregard the law.

The minister’s letter had no legal foundation, and we have decided to file suit against the state. A democratic society cannot tolerate officials threatening citizens and companies with prosecution if they honour the law.

Unfortunately all of the documents concerning the case and our organisation are only available in Danish.

I want to help!

You can contact spokesperson Rasmus Malver on Twitter or via SMS/Signal.

You can also help us gain momentum through publicity. Contact your network, journalists, friends, and family - and explain why it is important to fight for our rights.

What about Søren Pape?

He is no longer minister of justice.

Current minister is Nick Hækkerup, so he is party to the lawsuit. Data retention was equally illegal when Søren Pind (V), Mette Frederiksen (S), Karen Hækkerup (S), Morten Bødskov (S), Brian Arthur Mikkelsen (K) and Søren Pape (K) held the office. It is not a political issue. It is about honouring the law and not violating the fundamental rights.

Pape was special because he wrote an illegal letter, requiring the telco network owners to continue to retain data. This was a violation of the constitution, but the same document states that only parliament can hold him responsible.

This case will, hopefully, change Danish politicians obvious and intentional violations of our human rights.

Why not TDC?

Pape wrote a letter telling them to surveil illegally.

TDC claim ignorance of the law. With the letter from the minister, they argue that they lack the ability to understand the illegality of a ministerial order.

It will be more difficult and more expensive to argue a case against the state of Denmark. But it will set the precedent for future governments wanting to oppress the fundamental rights of the people.

Why should I care? If surveillance can hinder crime, I'm pro data retention!

It is a myth that data retention helps the police.

Mass surveillance does not necessarily prevent or stop crime. It can lead to more arrests and fewer unsolved crimes, but mainly because innocent people will be punished. Having a database table of the location of unsolved crimes and a database table of everybody’s movements makes it possible to collate data and prove that everybody is guilty.

Have you bought a crowbar recently or have you walked past a house that has been burgled? Mass surveillance requires you to doublethink to stay out of jail.

Honouring human rights does not leave the police blind as bats. Crime could be solved before 2006, but the police have to think for themselves. Who might be a suspect and why? It will still be possible to conduct surveillance, but only with sufficient democratic oversight.

Who's behind this?

Foreningen imod Ulovlig Logning (The Association Against Illegal Surveillance).

Human rights jurist Rasmus Malver kickstarted the fundraising with a contribution of 30.000 DKK, and the second large donor was Bitbureauet. In January the movement gained traction and today 100s of people, businesses and organization have donated. An organization was created to hold the money, and it will all be used to pay the legal fees.

We have chosen IT- and EU-specialists Bird & Bird, and lawyer Martin von Haller leads the team.

What is the relationship to human rights?

You have a right to privacy.

Human rights are your rights against governmental abuse. Some countries have human rights enshrined in their constitutions, but in Denmark, they mainly exist in the form of the European Convention on Human Rights (pdf). It was written after the second world war to avoid history repeating, and over time it has been updated to protect minorities and to avoid the emerging terrors from states on both sides of the iron curtain.

The people of the European Union has agreed upon an updated version of the convention in 2000, the EU Charter on Fundamental Rights (pdf), where the protection of privacy is emphasized.

The Danish mass surveillance and retention of metadata is an obvious violation of both conventions, and it has been established that both are important parts of Danish law. The current surveillance is more intrusive than the surveillance conducted by both Gestapo and STASI.

You have the right not be the victim of this.

Are you profiting from this? What will happen if there's too much money?

No. And excess funding will be forwarded to a similar case or organization.

All of the funds will go to paying legal fees and the attorney, (Bird & Bird). If we end up with excess money (unlikely), it will be forwarded to a similar case or organization.

What is being retained about me?

Among other things what phone you have, where you are and who you're communicating with.

The location of your mobile phone every time you send or receive a text or a call. Also who you communicate with. You can ask your provider for a copy of the data.

The minister says he needs time to replace the legislation. Isn't that ok?


When mass surveillance was brought in on EU level, politicians were told it violates human rights, and thus it would be illegal. When implemented in Denmark they were told the same. When the ministerial notice was issued they were told again.

A ministerial notice (bekendtgørelse) cannot exist without a legal basis in a law, and a law implementing EU regulation cannot exist when the regulation has been struck down.

The European Court of Justice was unusually clear when striking down the surveillance regulation in both the case of Digital Rights and Tele2/Watson. It did not come as a surprise to anybody, and obviously, it withdrew any legal basis from the ministerial notice.

Justice minister Søren Pape Poulsen wants to continue the surveillance and is desperately looking for a way to sneak it through parliament. There is a large majority for doing it, but it would require Danish secession from the Council of Europe and potentially the European Union. Denmark would then stand with Belarus as one of only two European states not a party to the Convention on Human Rights.

Metadata retention is a criminal act, and the minister is only kept out of jail by a constitutional provision stating that only other politicians can bring him to justice.

Have we written something that’s wrong? or maybe we need to elaborate on something?
Write us an email at info@ulovliglogning.dk