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Parliamentary report details German police snoop-spend

Skype, mail, chat all on the intercept list

Application security programs and practises

Blogger Anna Roth has accused German police of monitoring Skype, Facebook chat and Google Mail, following an examination of expenditures by the country’s Ministry of Home Affairs.

In the wake of last year’s notorious discovery that police were using a Trojan to spy on criminal suspects – legal in limited cases, but according to the Chaos Computer Club, the code went far beyond its remit – the Bundestag released a parliamentary report, now translated into English (PDF), which gives rise to the new accusations.

As noted by ParityNews, buried in the 46-page report’s tables are some revealing items: contracts 486, for software to monitor Google Mail, MSN Mail and Yahoo! Mail; and contract 247, for Skype monitoring software.

DigiTask was also kept busy supplying and installing “capture units” (presumably surveillance appliances), often on a rental basis.

The contracts went to DigiTask, the company accused of developing the Trojan analysed last year by Chaos – the code of which was described as “amateurishly written” at the time. CCC’s analysis of the Trojan found that it installed backdoors and keyloggers on target machines.

Other gems include the supply of “clandestine radio equipment” by Phonak, Davis micro-cameras, and forensic software supplied by X-Ways Software.

Roth's blog post is at Annalist, here. ®

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