German Pirate Party's Servers Confiscated In Police Raid — Two Days Before Election

Around lunch today, the German Pirate Party (Piratenpartei) sent out an alarming tweet that spread like wildfire. “Our servers are offline due to police intervention. Do not panic, this is our turn. More information to follow.” The German police had taken the Piratenpartei out — two days before general elections in a state in Germany.

Apparently, the French police force had asked its German counterpart to secure evidence in an investigation that was not related to the Piratenpartei, and some of this information was on one of the Piratenpartei’s servers. Rather than accepting assistance from the Piratenpartei in securing this particular piece of information, the police instead chose to seize the entire server farm and take it offline.

Doing this to a democratic party — Germany’s sixth largest, actually — two days before an election is nothing short of a democratic sabotage. This shows why we must introduce understanding of information policy into the justice system all across Europe. A computer is not just something you can carry away; doing so has consequences. It is not a wrench, and yet the law (and police) treat it like any tool, just like a wrench.

Piratenpartei has a statement out. TorrentFreak writes more. The raid also struck at one of the world’s largest EtherPad deployments, causing concern among many activists who have used the tool to coordinate civil liberty activities. Netzpolitik writes more in German.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the German police website,, is now offline. (When the Pirate Bay was raided on May 31, 2006, the Swedish police went offline almost immediately. Tabloids held polls which site people believed would come back up first. 90% thought that The Pirate Bay would restore service first.)

Rick Falkvinge

Rick is the founder of the first Pirate Party and a low-altitude motorcycle pilot. He lives on Alexanderplatz in Berlin, Germany, roasts his own coffee, and as of right now (2019-2020) is taking a little break.


  1. Pirate Party AU (@piratepartyau) (@piratepartyau)

    German Pirate Party’s Servers Confiscated In Police Raid — Two Days Before Election || #servergate

  2. Piratpartiet Live! (@piratbloggar) (@piratbloggar) (@piratbloggar)

    Falkvinge on Infopolicy: German Pirate Party’s Servers Confiscated In Police Raid — Two Days Before Electi…

  3. Aleks Lessmann

    Hi Rick,

    from a legal point of view, it’s even worse. We are checking if police did not act against the German Constitution and the Freedom that political Parties have from prosecution such as this.

    Police were WAY over their heads with this and we will strive to see that there are consequences.

    Still, and even with part of our communication down, we were still able to get the message out to the press, which reacted extremely interested and has already published a lot of information.

    All of the Party reacted well organised an was able to make the story be heard everywhere. This holds well for our future actions. I am very proud of being a Pirate, and most a german Pirate today.

    Thanks for being part of the information transport

    1. Rick Falkvinge

      I’m happy to see that the party mobilizes around this egregious violation of both common sense and democratic fundamentals, and if there’s been legal violations, all the better. Hoping for appropriate consequences.

  4. Patrick Hooker (@PatrickAK)

    Pli pri la polica atako sur la germana Piratpartio: (angle) dank al @Falkvinge #esperanto

  5. Björn Nilsson (@Beelzebjorn) (@Beelzebjorn) (@Beelzebjorn)

    What exactly IS #Germany doing? Short of a HUGE terrorist-conspiracy, what justifies this, two days from election?:

  6. jeffer

    This is probably a “nuisance attack” – and we are going to see a lot more of it. It is part of a new repression wave by the established powers.

    The objective is to cause major damage to people by simply accusing them of something. There is no need for trial and conviction. Just sponteneous damage and harassment when some powerful entity like President Sarkozy feels like it.

    This will happen all over Europe.

    Perhaps time to resurrect the secret societies of the 19th century?

  7. […] Falkvinge, who heads the Swedish Pirate Party, came to the defense of his piratical brethren today, writing, “Doing this to a democratic party—Germany’s […]

  8. inferiae4542 (@inferiae4542)

    German Pirate Party’s Servers Confiscated In Police Raid — Two Days Before Election – Falkvinge on Infopolicy:

  9. Nemokrati

    As the Extreme Right marches further into established power resistance will probably have to go underground, just like it did last time the Extreme Right ruled Europe – and murdered a large proportion of its population.

  10. Elias L.

    I see that the stasi is in controll again.

  11. Elias L.

    I meant gestapo lol.

  12. Hans J

    Considering that PiratePad doesn’t have an erase command who knows what was the REAL reason for seizing those servers.

    By the way: where is the german Piratenpartei’s register on members kept?

    Is the time now such that everybody has to keep everything encrypted at all time, everywhere?

    How to encrypt ones cellphone, mp3-player, paper notebook? Anybody?

  13. avs

    I won´t be surprised if these police who are responsible for this be executed publicly.
    I´d support public execution of police people if they misbehave so frequently and in such manner that it is the only available option left to get others to accept that being a policeman is something you earn and which the people have a right to declare if you´re capable of being one or not.

  14. avs

    I support public execution of traitors.

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