The Society for Civil Rights (Gesellschaft für Freiheitsrechte e.V. or "GFF") defends fundamental and human rights by legal means. To this end, we use strategic court cases and legal interventions, such as studies, statements or draft laws. We see ourselves as legal insurance for the German Basic Law. We currently focus our efforts on four key areas. Through our work we strengthen democracy and its supporting pillars by promoting good framework conditions for civil society, the press and whistleblowers. We defend digital freedom rights against disproportionate surveillance and data hoarding by the state and corporations. We support people in their struggle against exclusion and discrimination in different areas of life. Finally, we are committed to equal social participation of all people. We are not a law firm and do not provide legal advice. We promote democracy and the rule of law by purposefully selecting strategically relevant issues and cases, in order for fundamental rights to become a reality.
Many individuals and organisations provide an essential contribution to a vibrant democracy and an open society through their work and commitment. Journalists, whistleblowers, activists or NGOs – we stand by their side and defend their rights when their work and their rights are being obstructed or restricted. We protect communication freedoms, since they are central to a free exchange of opinions as well as free access to knowledge and information.
Security is not an end in itself, rather a means towards realising our civil liberties. We challenge disproportionate laws that provide excessive powers to state agencies such as the police and secret services and pave the way for comprehensive surveillance of the population. The protection of privacy and self-determination over one's own data is crucial. We oppose increasing surveillance through comprehensive data storage.
People are being excluded and marginalised because of certain characteristics such as gender or background. Together with our plaintiffs, we draw attention to the injustice they experience as well as the violation of their fundamental rights. In undertaking our work, we are aware that discrimination is an expression of social power relations. Through our cases, we want to contribute to breaking down these power relations and supporting social change.
Social rights are an essential prerequisite for participation in society and the political arena: without social security, individual freedoms often cannot be exercised at all. Social rights and civil liberties cannot be separated, but are interdependent: human rights are indivisible.
In an age of growing inequality and social division, we go to court for human dignity, because human dignity is the foundation of our Basic Law.