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Freedom of information portal
languages German
operator Open Knowledge Foundation Germany e. V.
Annual income 85,560.24 € (2018)
programming language python
On-line August 1, 2011

FragDenStaat ( ) is an internet platform through which inquiries based on the Freedom of Information Act and other laws can be made to authorities. The platform was founded in 2011 by Stefan Wehrmeyer. Its sponsor is the non-profit association Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland e. V. Arne Semsrott has been the project manager since 2014 .


FragDenStaat was founded in 2011 by Stefan Wehrmeyer and has been open to the public since August 1, 2011. At first it was only possible to submit applications under the Federal Freedom of Information Act . Gradually all other national laws were integrated. In addition to applications under the federal and state freedom of information laws, it is also possible to submit applications under the Environmental Information Act and the Consumer Information Act . In addition, in those countries that do not have their own freedom of information law, individual municipalities that have their own freedom of information statutes can be asked about this regulation. Since 2019 it has also been possible to submit applications according to Regulation (EC) 1049/2001 to institutions of the European Union .


FragDenStaat serves as a transmitter and archive for user inquiries.

A request made via the portal is sent to the relevant authority via an email address generated specifically for this request . Answers are automatically published on the platform and the applicant is notified. All digital correspondence is listed on a subpage. Since some authorities reply to applications by post and objections or cost notices have to be sent by post, it is also possible for applicants to add files and messages themselves.

In the application overview it is possible to sort applications according to jurisdiction ( state , federal and European Union ), according to status (e.g. application successful, application rejected, application partially successful or application withdrawn) and according to certain categories (e.g. justice , Agriculture or environment ).


There have been six major campaigns since it was founded in 2011. The aim of the campaigns is to promote the independent publication of documents by authorities.

Ask the Bundestag

On June 25, 2015, the Federal Administrative Court decided that the Scientific Service of the German Bundestag must publish its reports on request. On January 25, 2016 FragDenBundestag was released after had received a list of all titles on advice from the Scientific Service. The user could search the list for titles and then request the corresponding expert opinion. Just three days after the start of the campaign, more than 1,000 reports were requested. After less than a month - on February 18, 2016 - the Bundestag's Council of Elders decided that all reports should be published. The reports can now be found on the website of the German Bundestag , as well as on

Ask the job center

On October 20, 2016, FragDenStaat published a list of all job centers in Germany. The platform makes it easy to submit an application to send "all currently valid internal instructions and work aids of the job center". 11 months after the start - on November 6, 2017 - almost 80% of all job centers published the instructions.

Transparent laws

On June 15, 2017, FragDenStaat launched the campaign “Transparent Laws” with The aim is to publish all statements of interest groups on draft laws of the federal government . On July 12th it was decided to publish all previous statements. One day later, all previously available statements were published on On November 15, 2018, the cabinet decided that all bills and statements should be published.

Pot Secret

On January 15, 2019, the Topf Secret platform was published together with Foodwatch . With the platform, applications can be made in accordance with the Consumer Information Act in order to be informed about the dates of the last two food controls. In order to request the inspection reports, it is possible to select the farms on a map or to search by name or location.

Over 20,000 inquiries were made in the first three months.

FragDenStaat criticizes the confidentiality of the hygiene information, the German Hotel and Restaurant Association describes the project as a "hygiene pranger".

The Lower Administrative Court of Lower Saxony ruled that consumers are entitled to the release of inspection reports from the food control authorities .

Ask her Abi!

Together with Wikimedia Germany , FragDenStaat launched the “Ask them Abi!” Campaign on February 11, 2019. The aim of the campaign is to inquire about old Abitur assignments from the state ministries of culture. The Lower Saxony Ministry of Education and Culture has decided to publish all examination tasks and expectations for the Lower Saxony Central Abitur from mid-August 2019.

Censor copyright

The word censorship is a combination of the words censorship and copyright . Censored copyright law means that authorities use copyright law to prevent documents from being published. The 28th Conference of Freedom of Information Commissioners in Germany made a resolution in this regard that copyright law may not be used to restrict publication.

The publication of the so-called “ glyphosate report” by FragDenStaat has meanwhile been prevented by the federal government with the help of copyright law . The censorship campaign wants to prevent the use of copyright for such purposes in the future.

Avoid speculation

The avert speculation campaign was launched on July 14, 2020. The aim of this campaign is to publish the avoidance agreements that the Berlin districts have concluded with private homeowners.


Bulk inquiries

The aim of the mass inquiries is to ensure that the authorities agree to a publication of their answer if this is e.g. B. invoke copyright law (see censorship law).

The mass inquiries include inquiries about the so-called "glyphosate report" from the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment , a crypto software study by the Federal Office for Information Security or the " Ackermann dinner" in the Federal Chancellery .

Transparency lawsuits

Together with the Society for Freedom Rights, FragDenStaat offers so-called “transparency suits”. The aim of these lawsuits is to have a rejection notice of an objection by an authority before the administrative court declared unlawful as part of an obligation action . FragDenStaat and the GFF provide the legal and court costs .

Processes are selected that are of fundamental importance and have a chance of success.

IFG championships

The IFG championships pursue the goal of transparency in a playful way, as 16 authorities compete against each other, pairs of two are drawn before the start of a round. All authorities receive the same application at the same time; the authority that publishes more comprehensive information more quickly does "win". The authority that wins goes to the next round until there is only one left to win.

The first IFG championship took place in April 2018 between the 14 federal ministries, the Federal Chancellery and the Federal President's Office. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research won .

The second IFG championship started in June 2020, between the state and senate chancelleries of the 16 German federal states. In addition, it is possible for users to take part in a prediction game to find out which authority answers faster.

Prince Fund

Georg Friedrich von Prussia is suing researchers and journalists who deal critically with the history and the present of the Hohenzollerns. FragDenStaat estimates that there were almost 50 decisions before the Berlin Regional Court. The director of the Center for Contemporary History , Martin Sabrow, describes this as an attack on the freedom of science. In order to provide those affected with the financial means for legal proceedings against these lawsuits, FragDenStaat founded the Prinzenfonds. FragDenStaat receives support from the German Union of Journalists and the ver.di trade union . Within the first month after it was set up, almost 1200 people donated around € 50,000 to the Prinzenfonds.

Legal disputes

In 2014, FragDenStaat asked the Federal Ministry of the Interior for a memo on a judgment from the Federal Constitutional Court from 2011 on the 5% threshold clause in the European elections and was then warned under civil law . In response to a subsequent negative declaratory action by FragDenStaat, the Berlin Court of Appeal decided that the warning was unlawful.

In October 2018, FragDenStaat requested and received the “BfR statement on the IARC monograph on glyphosate of September 4, 2015” from the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment . Publication was prohibited on the grounds of copyright law. In March 2019, FragDenStaat received a warning. The Regional Court of Cologne ruled on March 19, 2019 that FragDenStaat may not redistribute the document. In response, the portal called for users to request the report themselves. On March 18, FragDenStaat submitted a negative declaratory action to the Berlin Regional Court with the aim of having the warning issued by the BfR declared ineffective. On July 4, 2019, the Cologne Regional Court ruled that the warning was ineffective due to formal errors . FragDenStaat then published the report again. In general, the Conference of Freedom of Information Commissioners stated in 2014 that copyright law does not serve secrecy.

Art editions

Since 2016, FragDenStaat has published an art edition every year on the International Freedom of Information Day on September 28th, which consists of parts of an answer that has largely been made unrecognizable.


Since it was founded in 2011, there has been a lecture at the Chaos Communication Congress every year . The content of the lectures is always the current development of freedom of information in Germany as well as individual inquiries and other topics. In 2018, in addition to the project manager Arne Semsrott , Rainer Rehak and the two authors from Anna Biselli and Andre Meister spoke.

In addition, Arne Semsrott speaks regularly at the network policy evening z. B. about current campaigns.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Freedom of Information & Freedom of Information Act (IFG). In: Retrieved July 14, 2019 .
  2. FragEuropa: All EU authorities now on FragDenStaat. April 26, 2019, accessed June 2, 2019 .
  3. Our campaigns. Retrieved June 2, 2019 .
  4. Press release No. 53/2015 | Federal Administrative Court. Retrieved June 2, 2019 .
  5. FragDenBundestag. Retrieved June 2, 2019 .
  6. Arne Semsrott: #FragDenBundestag successful: Bundestag opens its filing cabinets! February 18, 2016, accessed June 20, 2019 .
  7. Ask the job center. Retrieved June 2, 2019 .
  8. Conclusion after a year of FragDasJobcenter: That was just the beginning. November 6, 2017, accessed June 2, 2019 .
  9. Arne Semsrott: Ask the job center: Social authorities have to become more transparent [update]. October 20, 2016. Retrieved June 20, 2019 .
  10. Transparent Laws. Retrieved June 2, 2019 .
  11. Transparent laws: Federal government resolves standard publication of lobby statements. November 15, 2018, accessed June 2, 2019 .
  12. Success for the “Transparent Laws” campaign - ministries publish lobby papers. In: LobbyControl. July 11, 2017. Retrieved June 20, 2019 .
  13. | Transparent laws: Federal government keeps lobby papers under lock and key again. August 15, 2018, accessed June 20, 2019 .
  14. Food inspection. Retrieved June 2, 2019 .
  15. Neue Westfälische: How clean is the restaurant? Thousands of inquiries about "Topf Secret". Retrieved June 20, 2019 .
  16. Where are the dirty restaurants? Numerous inquiries on the hygiene portal from Kassel. January 18, 2019, accessed June 20, 2019 .
  17. Local pub clean? How authorities refuse hygiene information | Free press - food & drink. Retrieved July 2, 2019 .
  18. Topf Secret: Gastro lobby deceives the public and authorities - and the city of Cologne falls for it (update). February 8, 2019, accessed July 2, 2019 .
  19. Court: Entitlement to reports from the food inspection , January 20, 2020
  20. "Topf Secret": Hygiene pillory on the Internet attracts attention. June 7, 2019, accessed February 16, 2020 .
  21. The new campaign: Ask Abi! February 11, 2019, accessed June 2, 2019 .
  22. Abitur tasks in mathematics in 2017 in Lower Saxony. Retrieved June 2, 2019 .
  23. ↑ Participate now: Ask Abi! In: Wikimedia Germany Blog. Retrieved June 20, 2019 .
  24. 28th Conference of the Freedom of Information Commissioners in Germany: Copyright does not serve secrecy! (PDF; 191KB) Resolution of the 28th IFK on June 17th, 2014 in Hamburg. The Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information, accessed on June 17, 2016 .
  25. censorship Heber Law 2019. In: FragDenStaat. Retrieved June 20, 2020 .
  26. ↑ Avoid speculation - publish avoidance agreements! July 14, 2020, accessed July 19, 2020 .
  27. Campaign calls for more transparency in deals with investors. Retrieved July 19, 2020 .
  28. Glyphosate report
  29. ^ Ackermann dinner
  30. The GFF supports transparency actions under the Freedom of Information Act - GFF - Society for Freedom Rights eV Accessed on July 2, 2019 .
  31. Our strategy: Better law through better lawsuits - GFF - Society for Freedom Rights eV Accessed on July 2, 2019 .
  32. IFG Championships 2018. Accessed June 30, 2020 .
  33. IFG Championships 2020. Accessed June 30, 2020 .
  34. ^ Johanna Christner: Hohenzollern lawsuits: A "prince fund" against the prince . In: FAZ.NET . ISSN  0174-4909 ( [accessed July 19, 2020]).
  35. ^ Christian Orth: Reporting on the Hohenzollern - Prinzenfonds helps journalists. Deutschlandfunk , July 28, 2020, accessed on August 1, 2020 (German).
  36. Martin Sabrow: "Your approach attacks the freedom of science". In: Tagesspiegel . December 21, 2019, accessed June 20, 2020 .
  37. The Prince's Fund. In: FragDenStaat. Retrieved June 20, 2020 .
  38. Arne Semsrott : Prince Fund: First warnings for the Prince Fund. In: FragDenStaat. July 16, 2020, accessed July 19, 2020 .
  39. heise online: Open Data: “Ask the State” wins against the Federal Ministry of the Interior. Retrieved June 20, 2019 .
  40. Regional Court Berlin (ed.): Chamber Court Decision 24 W 21/14 . March 12, 2014 ( [PDF]).
  41. Documents on glyphosate and copyright. Retrieved June 20, 2019 .
  42. 14th Civil Chamber of the Regional Court of Cologne: preliminary injunction in the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment proceedings against FragDenStaat. March 19, 2019, accessed June 20, 2019 .
  43. Anna Biselli: Interim injunction: FragDenStaat must delete state expert opinion on glyphosate. April 2, 2019, accessed June 20, 2019 .
  44. Negative declaratory actions by Arne Semsrott against the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment. March 18, 2019, accessed June 20, 2019 .
  45. Arne Semsrott: censorship Heber rights: glyphosate report may be published again. July 4, 2019, accessed July 4, 2019 .
  46. First trial won: Here is the glyphosate report (again)! July 4, 2019, accessed July 4, 2019 .
  47. Copyright does not serve the purpose of secrecy! 28th Conference of Freedom of Information Commissioners on June 17, 2014 in Hamburg, accessed on July 19, 2020 .
  48. # 000000. Retrieved October 9, 2019 .
  49. Users: the Tor browser has been connecting to our onion service in the background for some time. Now we are making our .onion address directly visible. #censorship #MoreOnionsPorfavor. In: July 23, 2020, accessed on July 23, 2020 .