Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Read My E-mail? Get a Warrant

This is another example of a not-so-well-thought action. True, this may help the police to catch the bad guys and in certain cases to save lives. But ...

What about the possible abuses? If I were the spouse or kid of a police official, I would really be concerned about the possibility that the machine might be bugged. And what if a policeman helps a friend's business? After all, if there is no warrant, that trojan could be installed on the competitors's computers and report possible contracts or opportunities ...

Also, what happens if the police computers are hacked into? This would be a free-for-all of bank information, PII and that sort of things, centralized in a single location. And yes, what about the police responsibility in this case? Would the government refund the potential losses for the citizens?

There is a need there for the governments to think these through, and instead of finding technical means to circumvent the consequences - and the legal means of justifying these work-arounds - address the real causes of all those issues.


Read My E-mail? Get a Warrant:

Last October the well-known hacking group Chaos Computer Club revealed that the German state police had been monitoring the computers of ordinary citizens using specially designed surveillance software. This spyware could peek into users’ files, record keystrokes, take screenshots of Web pages users happened to be visiting, and even commandeer Web cams and microphones, giving the cops an open window into the home. The revelations invited comparisons to the Stasi, the infamous police force that operated in the former East Germany.

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