Details on German State Trojan programme
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Deutsch: Details zum Deutschen Staatstrojaner
Some documents spotted by the Annalist blog that were issued by the German Government in July 2012, within a parliamentary enquiry about expenditures by the German Federal Ministry of the Interior, clearly show more details about what was revealed a year ago by EDRi member CCC (Chaos Computer Club) - that the German police has been spying and monitoring Skype, Google Mail, MSN Hotmail, Yahoo Mail and Facebook communications. The tool used by the police is a Trojan programme created by Digitask company, the so-called “Staatstrojaner”.
The German law allows the police to use data interception tools on computers for eavesdropping, but the Constitutional Court has introduced certain limitations interdicting the use of such tools to access private data or take control of a suspect’s computer. In 2011, the Ministry of Justice promised to give up the initial Trojan virus and have new software created internally: “The software by DigiTask GmbH that was used in the past for computer surveillance (lawful interception) is not currently being used by federal public authorities any more. The software that will be used for computer surveillance will be developed by a competence centre established within the Federal Criminal Police Office. It will be safeguarded that the source code will be audited regarding its range of functions by qualified experts. It will also be accessible for the relevant authorities for data protection (among others the Federal Commissioner for Data Protection).”
But the recent governmental expenditure documents show also that the German Government is far from being able to produce software for lawful interception that complies with the decision of the Federal Constitutional Court.
“The development of software by the Federal Criminal Office is presumably going to take months if not years. We may even have to ruefully admit that we lack the capability completely,” stated the spokesman on domestic policy of the Conservative Party.
In France as well, since Loppsi2 legislation has come into force in 2011, the police is allowed to place spyware on the computers of people suspected by various crimes. This surveillance is however carried out under the authority of a judge who needs to explain why its usage was needed in that respective case.
Hacker News Puzzle (17.10.2012)
One year later:German police unable to develop ‘state trojan’ (12.10.2012)
German police monitors Skype, GoogleMail and Facebook chats (3.10.2012)
German Gov't Inadvertently Reveals Police Monitor Gmail, Skype, Facebook
& Use Snooping Malware (10.10.2012)
German police spyware is also targeting Skype, Gmail, Facebook...(only
in French, 10.10.2012)