The International League for Human Rights, the International Federation for Human Rights and other organizations filed a complaint with the federal prosecutor's office in Germany regarding U.S., British and German surveillance programs.
"The illegitimate mass surveillance and digital espionage conducted by the United States' National Security Agency and other secret services which have allegedly violated civil rights and criminal law must be investigated," they said in a joint statement issued Monday from Berlin.
They blamed top government officials for working on the program "for the last two decades."
The International Federation for Human Rights, a Paris group known by its French initials FIDH, last year said media companies ranging from Google to Facebook and Skype were involved in U.S. surveillance program known as Prism.
Details of the program were leaked to the news media last year by former NSA employee Edward Snowden.
"We believe that this unacceptable intrusion into the private life of millions of citizens must be thoroughly investigated" Patrick Baudouin, FIDH's litigation coordinator, said in a statement.