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German police get powers to hack into home computers

Published:

Oh, this would never be abused by anyone in a position of power or anything.Mad

Nor one would ever be framed, nor would the so-called bad guys get a copy of the software.Roll Eyes

German police will get sweeping new powers to hack into people's home computers with 'Trojan' viruses sent through the internet.

David Wroe in Berlin
Last Updated: 7:17PM GMT 03 Dec 2008

Under a compromise between the hardline Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and dissenting MPs, Germany's Parliament is put unprecedented power in the hands of the Federal Criminal Police (BKA).

New laws, some of the toughest in Europe, will also allow police to bug and photograph suspect's homes, tap their phones and track the location of their mobile calls.

Under the compromise, the police will need a judge's approval before using the Trojans, even in an emergency.

Trojans will carry "Remote Forensic Software" that can search hard drives and send evidence back to investigators without their having to enter the suspect's home.

Rolf Tophoven from the Institute for Terrorism Research and Security Policy said the computer penetration powers would have helped police last year when they arrested three men on terrorism charges.

The men encrypted their files which means police still have only one third of the data from their hard drives, Mr Tophoven estimated.

"We need this," he said. "The masterminds among the terrorist groups of today are highly qualified, very sophisticated people. The police need as much power as we can give them so that they can remain at the technological level of the terrorists. After all, the terrorists already have a huge advantage: they have the first shot."

The Greens, pro-business Free Democrats and socialist Left party members oppose the laws, fearing they endanger civil liberties.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/3546255/German-police-get-powers-to-hack-into-home-computers.html

Entry #185

Comments

1.
konaneComment by konane - December 8, 2008, 9:41 am
Wonder what the UN has to say about this?????
2.
Comment by jim695 - December 8, 2008, 12:11 pm
I think we're seeing a resurrection of McCarthyism, except now everyone's a terrorist rather than a communist, but the mentality is identical to what we saw happening back then. Many innocent people's lives were ruined for no reason, and I have no doubt that this measure will bring a similar result.

     The potential for abuse of this law is glaring, to say the least, and it's only a matter of time before the United States government decides, "Well, if it works for Germany, it'll work for us." If that should occur, it won't take long before you see your neighbor being led away in handcuffs and shackles because he visited www.soldieroffortune.com, or because he ordered a book from Palidan Press Online.

     How long will it be before the police have the authority to strip-search us during traffic stops?

     Jim
3.
ThinkComment by Think - December 8, 2008, 11:34 pm
Hmmm...I just caught virtumond on my system after my security software updated...I believe it was installed with the updates cause the Security Software was in 'install mode' and it was not there before. It messed with my search options too.
4.
ThinkComment by Think - December 8, 2008, 11:35 pm
Or I probably should say it claimed to be virtumond but who knows what it actually was.

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