About Us

English information about Digitalcourage.

What you can do


If you like our work and would like to support us, feel free to write an ► E‑Mail. We’ll be happy to answer in English.

Donate or become a Member

Our web form for ► membership is currently in German only, but we are considering this and will gladly offer advice via e-mail. You can ► donate via an English form already.

Das Team von Digitalcourage steht vor einem Haus und hält Schilder über die das Wort "Digitalcourage" verteilt geschrieben steht vor sich.Jens Reimerdes, CC-BY 4.0

Digitalcourage works for a liveable world in the digital age.

Since 1987, Digitalcourage (named FoeBuD until November 2012) advocates for fundamental rights, privacy and protecting personal data. We are a group of people from a variety of backgrounds who explore technology and politics with a critical mindset, and who want to shape both with a focus on human dignity.

We do not want our democracy to be “datafied” and sold out. We work against a society that turns people into targets for marketing, regards them as dispensable in times of a shrinking state, and places them under suspicion as potential terrorists. We stand for a living democracy.

Digitalcourage informs through publicity, speeches, events and congenial interventions. Every year we bestow the German Big Brother Awards (“Oscars for data leeches”). We contribute our expertise to the political process – sometimes without being invited.

More details in English on our background and history can be found on Wikipedia.

Click the triangles or the headlines to expand any item.

Supporting political engagement

An important theme underlying much of what we do is to create an atmosphere that is conducive for political engagement – whether it is in our own environment or as support to like-minded activists from elsewhere.

We run online services for the community, including an instance of the collaborative text editor Etherpad, a censor-free DNS nameserver and a Tor exit node to support the well-known network for anonymous surfing. Our online shop (partial English content) exists not only to sell merchandise but also to distribute materials for free events or friend organisations.

Building a Network of Activists

Digitalcourage is a member of European Digital Rights, a Brussels-based NGO that facilitates communication with European policy makers and brings us together with NGOs from Europe and beyond.

We organise an annual gathering of German activists (AKtiVCongrEZ) and contribute substantially to the organisation of the annual European barcamp Freedom not Fear (held in Brussels every autumn since 2012).

Campaigns, Interventions, Advocacy

We believe that political activism can be fun and rewarding, which is why our interventions tend to be playful despite the gravity of our concerns.

We raise our voice for civil society, doing work that we regard as an antidote to lobbying on behalf of industries and their special interests. The activities involved are much the same: we talk to politicians, we visit the EU Parliament and Commission in Brussels, we write letters or provide template letters to the public, and we support people that are in the political arena to work for the common good.

Participation in Congresses and Conventions

We have a regular and long-standing presence at the annual Chaos Communication Congress, and we also like to reach out beyond our bubble and participate in events like the annual “alternative police congress”, party conventions or church gatherings. We make our knowledge available in keynotes, speeches, and lectures,

Newsletters, Blogs, Public Relations

Through our website, an email newsletter (1–2 issues per month) and contacts with print and broadcast media, we work to keep the public informed and raise a voice for our issues in the political debate. (Our regularly published content is in German.)

Self-Defence and Education

We provide information, recommendations and practical advice for digital self-defence to make people’s digital lives more private and free. Some of these resources are specifically made for younger people.

Legal Action in the public interest

Sometimes, despite all our efforts, political decisions cause unacceptable damage to fundamental rights and violate legal principles. That is why we sometimes have to go to the courts. We contribute organisational support, funding and research to such cases, most notably to complaints at the German Federal Constitutional Court.

Support for Feminism and non-discriminatory spaces

Non-diverse communities tend to overlook mechanisms that can exclude certain groups. We take steps to ensure our texts are addressed to women as much as men, and we work to reduce discrimination elsewhere – online and offline.

Big Brother Awards (English content)

Matthias Hornung

Starting in 2000, every year we recognise several “companies, institutions and persons who act in a prominent and sustained way to invade people's privacy or malhandle (personal) data”. Our award speeches are fully documented, and for more than 10 years we have translated most of our coverage into English.

Recent articles in English

ECJ ruling

The clock is ticking for mandatory fingerprints in ID cards

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has invalidated the obligation to include fingerprints in ID cards for procedural reasons. That is a success. But we would have wished for the court to nullify mandatory fingerprinting for a different reason – namely, that it is incompatible with our fundamental rights as citizens of the EU.
History, Struggles, Stories

40 Years of German Privacy Movement

Why is there such a great awareness for data protection in Germany? What are the reasons for this? And why do we – as Digitalcourage – stand up for privacy? Rena Tangens about her personal motivation and the history of the privacy movement in Germany.


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