Wau Holland Foundation

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The Wau Holland Foundation (German: Wau Holland Stiftung; WHS) is a nonprofit foundation based in Hamburg, Germany.

Hamburg City in Germany

Hamburg is the second-largest city in Germany with a population of over 1.8 million.

Germany Federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, and the Alps, Lake Constance and the High Rhine to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.


It was established in 2003 in memory of Wau Holland, co-founder of the Chaos Computer Club. Loosely connected with the Chaos Computer Club, the foundation aims to preserve and further Holland's ideas in fields such as technology assessment, the history of technology and freedom of information. Specifically, it promotes the use of electronic media for educational purposes, as well as events on the social aspects of new technologies.

Wau Holland German journalist and computer activist

Herwart Holland-Moritz, known as Wau Holland, was a German computer security activist and journalist who in 1981 cofounded the Chaos Computer Club (CCC), one of the world's oldest hacking clubs.

Chaos Computer Club Germany based hackers organization

The Chaos Computer Club (CCC) is Europe's largest association of hackers with 7700 registered members. It is incorporated as an eingetragener Verein in Germany, with local chapters in various cities in Germany and other German-speaking countries. Since 1985 and again since 2012 some chapters in Switzerland are organised in the independent sister association Chaos Computer Club Schweiz (CCC-CH) instead.

Technology assessment is a scientific, interactive, and communicative process that aims to contribute to the formation of public and political opinion on societal aspects of science and technology.

Foundation projects include the "Archive of Contemporary History of Technology (Hacker archive)", which documents the history of the hacker scene, and a campaign against voting machines (both in collaboration with the Chaos Computer Club). The foundation also processes donations in Europe to support the WikiLeaks organization.

A voting machine is a machine used to register and tabulate votes. The first voting machines were mechanical but it is increasingly more common to use electronic voting machines. Traditionally, a voting machine has been defined by the mechanism the system uses to cast votes and further categorized by the location where the system tabulates the votes.

WikiLeaks International non-profit organization publishing secret information, news leaks, and classified media

WikiLeaks is an international non-profit organisation that publishes news leaks, and classified media provided by anonymous sources. Its website, initiated in 2006 in Iceland by the organisation Sunshine Press, claimed in 2016 to have released online 10 million documents in its first 10 years. Julian Assange, an Australian Internet activist, is generally described as its founder and director. Since September 2018, Kristinn Hrafnsson has served as its editor-in-chief.

As of December 2010, their endowment was about 62,000 €. It also owns land (valued at about 1500 €), currently leased to a public institution. [1]

Relationship to WikiLeaks

The foundation has collected over $1.2 million USD for WikiLeaks since it began accepting donations on the organization's behalf in October 2009. [2] On 4 December 2010, PayPal turned off donations in response to the foundation's connection to WikiLeaks, alleging that the account was being used for "activities that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity." [3] On 8 December 2010 the foundation released a press statement, saying it has filed legal action against PayPal for blocking its account and for libel due to PayPal's allegations of "illegal activity." [4]

PayPal Online financial services company based in San Jose, California

PayPal Holdings, Inc. is an American company operating a worldwide online payments system that supports online money transfers and serves as an electronic alternative to traditional paper methods like checks and money orders. The company operates as a payment processor for online vendors, auction sites, and many other commercial users, for which it charges a fee in exchange for benefits such as one-click transactions and password memory. PayPal's payment system, also called PayPal, is considered a type of payment rail.

As a consequence of this activity of collecting donations for Wikileaks, its charitable status has been challenged and later revoked by the German authorities. Its charitable status has been reinstated on 12 December 2012, applied retroactively for 2011 and 2012. [5]

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Daniel Domscheit-Berg German activist

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  1. "About the Wau Holland Foundation", Wau Holland Foundation web site.
  2. "'Donations Were Never as Strong as Now'", interview with Hendrik Fulda, board member of the Wau Holland Foundation, Spiegel Online, December 13, 2010.
  3. Associated Press (2010-12-04). "PayPal Turns Off Tap for WikiLeaks Donations". CBS News. Retrieved 5 December 2010.
  4. "Presseerklärung der Wau Holland Stiftung zur Sperrung ihres Account bei PayPal". wauland.de. 2010-12-08. Retrieved 2010-12-08.
  5. Wau Holland Foundation (2012-12-12). "Wau Holland Stiftung -- News". Wau Holland Foundation. Retrieved 19 April 2013.