Literally, “eavesdropping attack.” Lauschangriff was coined in 1977 after an illegal government bugging operation first reported by Der Spiegel.
The phrase “der grosse Lauschangriff,” the great or big eavesdropping operation, has been around since at least 1997 and describes legal government bugging of the residences of groups of people or professionals. This was apparently legalized by constitutional amendment in 1998. In 2004, Germany’s constitutional court required amendment of the amendment however, ruling that the grosser Lauschangriff violated the constitutional right to human dignity.
The “kleiner Lauschangriff,” small Lauschangriff, is the right accorded to German police and Verfassungsschutz to secretly listen in on and record conversations in public areas, offices and business premises that are accessible to everyone.
The above info was taken from this entertaining Deutsche Welle article, which further notes that eavesdroppers hear “their own shame” and other bad things about themselves.
(LOUSE shon griff.)