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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, 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.


November, 2nd, 2015

Wau Holland Foundation and the GNOME Project sign agreement

The Wau Holland Foundation and the GNOME project have signed an agreement for the collection of donations in Europe. The Wau Holland Foundation will support the free and open-source desktop system GNOME by providing a donation account for the project. The donations are spent in coordination with the GNOME project, especially for organizing European events related to the Friends of GNOME project.

February, 2nd, 2015

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

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


December 17th, 2014

Protect your privacy - Help GnuPG hire a second developer!

GnuPG is the world's leading privacy tool, with an estimated active user base of more than four million people world-wide, and a thousand new users each day. It guards emails, files, and programs from snooping and spying on Windows, Mac, and GNU/Linux. This crucial program needs your help to keep going in 2015 and beyond.

Ongoing government spying revelations have shown how little of our information is really safe. GnuPG is one of the few tools that can offer real protection. Edward Snowden used it to encrypt his communications with journalists. All companies and individuals running Free Software systems use it to protect their software against manipulation - sometimes without even knowing about it. Credit card data and backups are routinely encrypted through GnuPG, and the program will be needed for many years in the future to restore that data.

GnuPG this is free of charge for all those people around the world, but it costs money to develop and maintain. For more than a decade, g10code GmbH, the company owned and headed by GnuPG's principal author Werner Koch, has been bearing the majority of these costs. The project is seeking EUR 120,000 to carry on its work on GnuPG in 2015.

With this money, the project will:

  • hire a second developer to work on GnuPG
  • maintain the GnuPG software and documentation
  • put this vital bit of our privacy infrastructure on a more solid organisational footing, so that it will remain viable in the long term.

There are no fancy fundraising videos or goodies. Every cent of your donation will directly support the future development of GnuPG. Donors will be listed on the GnuPG website and in the next GnuPG release, unless they choose to remain anonymous.

You can directly donate to the GnuPG project; if you can benefit from a donation receipt by a Germany charity you may donate to our GnuPG account.

December 17th, 2014

Stand up for your rights

"Thanks to Assange, Snowden and Manning, you know the limits of freedom. You know you are spied on every hour of every day. You know how governments kill and torture alleged enemies.

Bradley Chelsea Manning is serving thirty-five years in an American federal prison. Julian Assange has been confined in England for four years without a single charge brought against him. Edward Snowden is trapped in Moscow. We will honour their courage by erecting a monument, designed by Italian sculptor Davide Dormino.

We can help him achieve this tribute by signing up to support its construction by sending donations to meet the 150,000 € cost. Most statues in public spaces commemorate warriors.

The Dormino statue pays homage to three who said no to war, to the lies that lead to war and to the intrusion into private life that helps to perpetuate war. Manning, Assange and Snowden accepted their loss of freedom. While you remain free, thank them by erecting this reminder that we can refuse to collaborate with unaccountable power.

Charles Glass

Read more about this interesting art project at their webpage and donate to the crowdfunding

Survey for Investigative Journalists

The Wau Holland Foundation and the Center for Investigative Journalism, London have started a survey to improve online anonymity and safety for investigative journalists and their sources. More...

October 30th, 2014

NEWS: PayPal14 court trail ended yesterday

After four years defending themselves against the felony charges brought by the U.S. Department of Justice under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for what amounted to a digital sit-in on the website of PayPal in response to what they termed extra-legal censorship of WikiLeaks, 13 men and women, known as the PayPal 14 (one case was handled separately), were sentenced in San Jose, California.

Last year, 11 of the defendants plead to the felony per the terms of a plea agreement with the Department of Justice. The other two refused the plea agreement and plead to a misdemeanor.

Today, all 13 defendants had their felony counts dismissed today at sentencing. They were each sentenced to pay $5,600 restitution to PayPal: a total of roughly $80,000. For the 11 defendants who pled to a felony, their pretrial conditions were counted towards probation time. All defendants will remain on financial probation until they pay full restitution. For the two who plead to a misdemeanor, they will spend between 60 and 90 days in a half-way house in lieu of jail. All the defendants are still fundraising because those defendants who paid their restitution in full, took loans out to do so.

March, 27th 2014

Vision paper of the YBTI working group released

YouBrokeTheInternet, or YBTI is an initiative whose work focuses on the next-generation of Internet. Snowden's revelations have shown that the previously supported projects secushare and unhosted do not suffice to repair the Internet. The Master Plan is in fact, "Redesigning the Internet for the 21st Century".


WHS sponsorship for Tor Exit Nodes

The Wau Holland Foundation - in close cooperation with the Tor project - sponsors the operation of Tor exit nodes. Operators running a high-bandwidth exit node can apply for support at the WHF:

December, 23rd 2013

Press release from #youbroketheinternet

Between Christmas and New Year's an international group of Hackers and cryptography experts will meet-up at the 30th annual Chaos Communication Congress, the 30C3, in order to reflect upon how internet software needs to be conceived in order to make monitoring of communications impossible beyond legal regulations.

Edward Snowden made it clear that the total surveillance of the Internet isn't a figment of some conspiracy theorists, but bleak reality. Not only because it offends and trespasses on people's sense of the right to privacy, it also leads to industrial espionage that causes economic losses in the billions. "A person under surveillance is never free; and a society under ubiquitous surveillance is no longer a democracy." The former is a clear statement made by authors around the world in their recently published manifesto "Democracy in the Digital Age".

If we are keen on upholding the very substance of our democracy and system of free market economy, then we are obliged to do something about it. That is why an international group of Hackers and cryptography experts will meet between Christmas and New Year's in Hamburg at the 30th Annual Chaos Communication Congress, the 30C3. The project, coined #youbroketheinternet, was devised for the purpose of engendering a debate on how Internet software should be conceived so that it will not be surveillable any longer. Numerous ideas have been developed and experimented with in the last few years in smaller projects on the subject. The ultimate goal of #youbroketheinternet is to encourage developers of said projects to engage in discussion with one another, as well as to coordinate specific projects in the field and find concensus on issues such as secure Internet software architecture.

Data retention and Internet monitoring can be rendered futile with the aid of modern cryptography technologies as well as with a concealment of the lines of communication. The voracious vampire squid of Faceboogle can be starved through direct, decentralized yet efficient mechanisms of news distribution to circles of friends within hundreds of millions of participants in order to halt the commercial exploitation of personal data. Incorruptible, decentralized mechanisms for the purpose of authentification and identification of computer and user identities and their public keys will ultimately supercede the compulsory trust in certification authorities. #youbroketheinternet will also propell the development of operating systems and hardware without "backdoors" as well as neighbourhood networks based on WLAN that are no longer dependent on telecommunications service providers. And it has become evident that the new software will only be widely accepted when it is easy to use.

But one thing is now clear; the people's trust in the integrity of the software industry is indeed compromised. Therefore, a new and trustworthy software can only be comprised of free and open software. Developing software in groups that are scattered around the world is a project management challenge. The financing for the development and future maintenance of a free and open software without commercial exploitation, will primarily be based on a donation basis similar to the Linux community. At present, Wau Holland Foundation supports the activities for the preparations of this endeavour.

See the event calender for #youbroketheinternet

November, 4th 2013

Public Pond server at the WHS

Everyone can get a free account on our Pond server. Pond (still experimental!) realizes a new form of asynchronous message exchange (like EMail), but with OTR encryption (like XMPP/OTR) and no visible metadata at all - so you can have totally secure, anonymous communication that will not allow adversaries to generate any form of communication profile between peers whatsoever.

We consider this to be the next-generation email protocol. The address of our pond server is:


May, 20th, 2013

Transparency Report 2012 for "Project 04: Enduring freedom of information" (WikiLeaks)

Download as PDF: German  |  English

This is the third transparency report published by the Wau Holland Foundation for "Project 04: Enduring Freedom of Information" which supports WikiLeaks. The following table gives an overview of the chronological development of donations (incoming funds) and project expenses (outgoing funds) for the years 2010 to 2012:

Year Donations Expenses Reserve Fund
2010 1'331'698.19 € 401'824.62 € 85'302.29 €*
2011 139'401.88 € 660'522.84 €
2012 68'995.05 € 392'434.37 €
Total: 1'540'095.12 € 1'454'792.83 €
*) The difference between incoming and outgoing funds is the volume of the reserve fund, which was allocated by the Foundation in 2011 to cover potential follow-up costs (for example, taxation resulting from the loss of Wau Holland Foundation's charitable status) and necessary administrative expenditures for the project. This reserve fund is to be continued in 2013.

As is evident from this table, the number of donations over the past two years has declined substantially, and is currently no longer able to provide the earlier levels support for the project.

Since January 2013, the Foundation has only been able to cover expenditures in essential infrastructure, such as servers. Better support for the project will only be made possible by an increase in donations for Project 04 in 2013; the Foundation nonetheless remains committed to continuing its support for WikiLeaks in such a case.

May, 20th

The WHF publishes its transparency report for "Project 04: Enduring freeedom of information" (WikiLeaks).


ON OUR OWN BEHALF -- December 12th, 2012

Charitable status of the
Wau Holland Foundation

With a letter from the Hamburg tax authorities, the Wau Holland Foundation's charitable status (tax exemption) was reinstated, applying retroactively for 2011. Therefore all donations (EU-wide) from the years 2011 and 2012 are tax-deductible for the donors.

Please note that for donations amounting to less than 200€ per year you don't need a specific donation receipt from us to have your donation counted as tax-deductible. In such a case, you are required to pass your money transfer receipt and the so-called Freistellungsbescheid to your local tax authorities.

For donations exceeding 200€ or more per year, please use the web form to request your donation receipt. We will try to process your request as soon as possible.

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.

ON OUR OWN BEHALF -- November 5th, 2012

Charitable status of the
Wau Holland Foundation

History of the revocation

The fiscal authorities in Kassel revoked [1] the charitable status of the Wau Holland Foundation (WHF) after an intervention by the Hessian Ministry of the Interior ([2],[3],[4],[5]) towards the end of 2010. As the reason for this decision, the authorities stated that the foundation violated the "principle of selflessness" by collecting donations and financing the "WikiLeaks" project.

Under the "principle of selflessness (§ 55 AO)", a foundation may not primarily pursue economic (commercial) purposes, but can only use the money to further their own goals. The withdrawal of the charitable status by the fiscal authorities is difficult to understand for two reasons. First, the tax office had not received any accounting records from the year 2010 at all which would justify such a decision. Second, the RP Kassel as supervisory authority issued a press release [6] in early December that made it clear that the promotion of WikiLeaks is in accordance to the statutes of the Foundation.

Perhaps this is why the fiscal authorities in Hamburg, which inherited the controversial procedure after the relocation of the Foundation, changed the reasoning and pursued the case as a "violation of the principle of immediacy (§ 57 AO)" instead.

Auditing and legal procedure

The WHF commissioned a law firm specializing in foundation and tax law to represent their interests and put an objection against the decision [7]. In subsequent proceedings, there was an audit of whether the Foundation had met the "requirement of immediacy" in 2010; the question of whether the foundation spent its money according to its statutes was no longer in dispute.

The "principle of immediacy" allows a non-profit organization to engage auxiliary staff to achieve its goals, but requires that it must establish traceable and binding control procedures.

In late 2009 and early 2010 the WHF had negotiated oral agreements with the "WikiLeaks" project; these arrangements were written down in a contract with a WikiLeaks project manager at the end of 2010. The written contract defined the objectives, responsibilities and the control processes for receiving money from the foundation. Although the spirit of said contract had been adhered to by all parties involved throughout the entirety of 2010 the the tax office did not acknowledge that the immediacy had been [ upheld ?] preserved and rejected our appeal against the decision after an 18 month audit [8].

In order to finally bring an end to these proceedings after all the lengthy deliberation, the WHF agreed with the tax office in Hamburg not to further appeal against this rejection [9] and was thus able to have the charitable status reinstated retroactively for the year 2011 and thereafter.

Present status

We have learned through this procedure, what contractual conditions are required to finance projects through the Foundation. Regretfully, we have had to inform all donors from 2010, that their donations were not tax-deductible. Notwithstanding, these donations were used for the purposes specified by the donor.

As soon as we receive the reinstatement of the charitable status from the tax office, we will be able to send out the respective donation receipts for the years 2011 and 2012. For donations up to 200€ (accumulated), it is sufficient for the donor to present the payment document together with the charitable status document (Freistellungsbescheid), which can then be downloaded from this website.

The projects that are promoted by the Wau Holland Foundation can be found by clicking here.

We greatly appreciate every donation; click here to see how you can donate. For questions about donations please contact us using our contact form.

Appendix (German)

  1. Entzug der Gemeinnützigkeit durch das FA Kassel (2011-01-07)
  2. Emails zwischen Innenministerium und Regierungspräsidium
  3. Innenminster an Stiftungsaufsicht (2010-12-10)
  4. Stiftungsaufsicht an Innenminister (2010-12-16)
  5. Innenminister an Stiftungsaufsicht (2011-01-05)
  6. Presseerklärung des RP Kassel (2011-01-07)
  7. Einspruch gegen den Finanzamtsbescheid (2011-01-11)
  8. Einspruchsentscheidung des Finanzamts Hamburg-Nord (2012-10-25)
  9. Klageverzicht der WHS (2012-10-29)

December, 27th - 30th

The WHF will have its one area in the assembly section of the 29C3 in Hamburg. All congress participants are invited to talk the foundation about its projects.



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!