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December, 19th, 2018

15 years ago: The WHS is founded

The Wau Holland Foundation celebrates its 15th anniversary: On 19 December 2003, the Regierungspräsiduum Kassel signed the deed of foundation after the foundation business had been established on 23 August 2003.

Five of Wau's friends (Ursel Reichhardt, Gerriet Hellwig, Bernd Fix, Winfried Motzkus and Mel Wahl) had already decided at his funeral in 2001 to set up a foundation in order to preserve and continue Wau Holland's free-thinking approaches.

Wau's father, Günter Holland-Moritz, agreed to make the necessary financial resources available as a founder. Unfortunately, Günter could no longer experience the founding of the foundation himself, as he died in 2002; the foundation was therefore established in the name of Günter Holland-Moritz by the board itself (represented by Ursel Reichhard).

December, 26th, 2017

Statement on WikiLeaks in Project Area 'Freedom of Information'

When the Chaos Computer Club added two new points to Steven Levy's hacker ethics in the mid-1980s, these two points were essentially influenced by Wau Holland's ideals and ideas. In the following decades, "Use public data - protect private data" became one of the core topics of the CCC's political and technical activities. After Wau's early death in 2001, this struggle for freedom of information and informational self-determination also became the main concern of the foundation that bears his name.

While informational self-determination was enshrined as a fundamental right by the Federal Constitutional Court as early as 1983 in the census verdict, freedom of information has remained a controversial field in social discourse to this day. We are still as far away from the ideal of a free society in which all people have unrestricted access to the information that concerns them as we were 35 years ago. The "Freedom of Information Act" of 2006 is actually more of a fig leaf, behind which the secrecy of the state, industry and influential groups continues to be practised.

In this sense, it is a shame that the transparency of socially relevant processes can often only be achieved through the courageous decision of whistleblowers to bring documents out of the darkness of secrecy and into the public eye. Without Daniel Ellsberg's leaking of Pentagon paper, the public would still know less about the background of the Vietnam War, without Chelsea Manning's leaking of documents less about the events in Iraq and Afghanistan, and without Edward Snowden's leaking of documents less about the global intelligence surveillance machine.

For this reason it was natural for the Wau Holland Foundation to collect donations for WikiLeaks as early as 2009. For the foundation, the purpose of WikiLeaks is to provide a secure platform for anonymous submission and publication of relevant leaked documents.

The necessity and benefit of such a platform for an informed society is still explicitly affirmed today by the Wau Holland Foundation. The Foundation has since used donations for Wikileaks publications when the donation is marked as intended for the work of Wikileaks. In addition to WikiLeaks, the Foundation also financially supports other projects in the field of freedom of information, including the platform "Ask the State".

When WikiLeaks began publishing the diplomatioc cables from Chelsea Manning's leak at the end of 2010, the Wau Holland Foundation's PayPal donation account was blocked and the Kassel tax office withdrew its non-profit status for 2011. Despite these events, the foundation did not give up its support of WikiLeaks and continued to collect donations for the project. With the Hamburg tax office (which has been responsible for the foundation since 2012), the foundations for the financial support and the form of cooperation between WikiLeaks and the foundation were agreed. The foundation regained its non-profit status and the support of WikiLeaks projects has not been questioned by the tax office or the responsible foundation supervisory authority since then.

The Wau Holland Foundation uses donations for WikiLeaks to support specific aspects of selected publications, i.e. infrastructure costs such as servers and coordinated processing work. The donations are only spent against invoices under the supervision of the Foundation; this is laid down in a framework agreement between the Foundation and SunshinePress as the representative of the WikiLeaks project and has been controlled for years by the responsible tax office. Julian Assange's personal legal costs are not borne by the Foundation, but by an independent Defense Fund.

Based on the guidelines of the framework agreement, WikiLeaks budgets the expenditure (journalistic preparation and contextualisation, research etc.) for new publications in anonymised form (i.e. without reference to concrete contents or planned publication dates); the foundation board then decides after publication by simple majority whether a concrete publication is financed by the foundation. In fact, some publications have not been funded over time, including the publication of DNC and Podesta e-mails.

The Wau Holland Foundation is fundamentally committed to freedom of expression, but is in no way connected with or in consultation with the activities of Julian Assange/WikiLeaks on Twitter or other social media. Since the summer of 2016, part of the Foundation's Board of Directors has had the impression that WikiLeaks' public statements on Twitter and other social media question the independence and integrity of the Foundation.

Support the Wau Holland Foundation with your donation!

You donation helps to keep the foundation going and supports our projects.

Donations to Wau Holland Foundation are tax-deductable within the EU

As the tax exemption (charitable status) was reinstated, it applied retroactively for 2011 and 2012, thereafter enabling European citizens to make a tax-deductible donations to the Foundation. This was due to a ruling of the European Court in 2007 (Decision C‑318_07), which mandates that every EU country honor the tax exemption decisions of any other EU country.

June, 8th, 2016

DEEP CABLES: Uncovering the Wiring of the World

Hackers, engineers, investigative journalists, writers, researchers, artists and activists unveil how the Internet really works, how it is secretly structured, and in which way interlinked land and undersea network cables influence our political, cultural and everyday life.

"Art & Evidence" conference series by Disruption Network Lab. The 8th event of the Disruption Network Lab at Kunstquartier Bethanien, Studio 1, Mariannenplatz 2, 10997 Berlin. Directed by Tatiana Bazzichelli.

February, 2nd, 2015

Re-Enactment of the "Wau-Pengo-Debate (1989)" at the 31C3

Download: webm (720p)  |  mp4 (720p))  |  mp4 (1080p)

February, 22nd, 2016

Wau Holland Foundation at the Logan Symposium in Berlin

The Logan CIJ Symposium brings together a unique and powerful coalition of individuals with a single goal — the defence of freedom and democracy. Join the second gathering to be held in Berlin on March 11-12, 2016 at bcc (Berlin Congress Center).

Over the years, facts like those revealed by WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden have made clear that we are all vulnerable. Our human rights are at risk. For journalists, the disclosures impacted what we do and, importantly, how we do it. Remarkably, we also discovered allies we didn’t know we had.

Journalists offer “white hat” hackers a social and political context, and are specialists in the presentation and interpretation of facts for a broader audience. Hackers, experts in exposing and protecting critical evidence-based material, bring formidable skills and access to information in our increasingly data-driven society.

If you care about the future of individual freedom and democracy — join us.

The symposium is organized by the Center of Investigative Journalism (London) and funded by the Reva & David Logan Foundation (US). It is sponsered by SPIEGEL and the Rudolf Augstein Foundation.

The Wau Holland Foundation will be present at the event with its own stand — you are invited to visit us for a talk on the foundation and its goals: freedom of information, freedom of communication and informational self-determination.

Two board members of the foundation will be directly involved in the events: Andy Müller-Maguhn will moderate the panel "Tools and Tactics" on Friday between 2pm and 4pm; Bernd Fix will moderate the panel "Today’s Investigative Platforms" on Saturday between 11:30am and 1pm.



About us

We are a foundation related to the Chaos Computer Club, that was launched by close friends and the father of the deceased "information philosopher" Wau Holland (a.k.a. Herwart Holland-Moritz). The foundation aims to preserve and further Holland's unique ideas of free-thinking in the fields of freedom of communication and informational self-determination.


Wauland is everywhere!