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Bavarian Police Seeking Skype Trojan Informant

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the heavy-hand dept.

Privacy 252

Andreaskem writes "Bavarian police searched the home of the spokesman for the German Pirate Party (Piratenpartei Deutschland) looking for an informant who leaked information about a government Trojan used to eavesdrop on Skype conversations. (The link is a Google translation of the German original.) There is a high probability that the Trojan is used illegally. A criminal law specialist said, 'The Bavarian authorities worked on the Trojan without a legitimate basis and now try to silence critics.' The informant need not worry since 'every information that could be used to identify him' is protected against unauthorized access by strong encryption. The Trojan is supposedly capable of eavesdropping on Skype conversations and obtaining technical details of the Skype client being used. It is deployed by e-mail or in place by the police. A Pirate Party spokesman said, 'Some of our officials seem to want to install the Big Brother state without the knowledge of the public.'"

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Bavarian police invading privacy!?! (5, Funny)

gnick (1211984) | more than 6 years ago | (#25044319)

Who would have thought that even a country like Germany could deteriorate into a police state?

I kid, I kid... I'm in the US...

Re:Bavarian police invading privacy!?! (2, Insightful)

jgarra23 (1109651) | more than 6 years ago | (#25044349)

Certainly not the Brits!

Re:Bavarian police invading privacy!?! (2, Insightful)

johnlcallaway (165670) | more than 6 years ago | (#25044395)

That was my first thought. When you outlaw knives, only outlaws will have knives. Then baseball bats. Then rolling pins. Then bare hands.

Re:Bavarian police invading privacy!?! (4, Funny)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 6 years ago | (#25044595)

`Then bare hands.

Hello, I am Leopold II and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

Re:Bavarian police invading privacy!?! (2, Insightful)

Flyers2391 (1040486) | more than 6 years ago | (#25044761)

When you outlaw knives, only outlaws will have knives

I never understood this argument, it seems inherently erroneous ...
for example, "if you outlaw murder, only outlaws will have murdered" were people using this argument before?

Re:Bavarian police invading privacy!?! (4, Insightful)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#25044827)

The statement is true. Only people that choose to obey the law to begin with will obey a law banning knives. Those that choose to break the law won't mind breaking another one as they mug you with their illegal knife.

This leads to the unexpected result of handgun murders going up after handguns are banned. The "bad guys" know YOU won't have a gun, because they are illegal, and the police can't protect them...

Re:Bavarian police invading privacy!?! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25045009)

does that mean that we shouldn't have laws? The reason laws exist is not to stop law abiding citizens from doing things, it is to prosecute people who break laws.

Re:Bavarian police invading privacy!?! (0)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 6 years ago | (#25045105)

It means we shouldn't have laws that prevent the law-abiding public from protecting themselves, since the police obviously are not there for that purpose.

But you probably knew that, and were just trolling. Still, it's a common enough fallacy that I had to refute it.

Re:Bavarian police invading privacy!?! (4, Insightful)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 6 years ago | (#25045973)

I'm not sure it means that, either.

The value of the public in their ability to protect themselves (especially when weighed against the ability of police to protect society, which is not the same thing as the ability to protect individuals, and the rate of crime) is not necessarily worth permitting people to utilize specific methods or tools.

For example, if we decided that it was very practical for people to protect their lives by equipping themselves with thermonuclear destruct devices activated by the lack of a heartbeat (which would probably solve all murders that weren't started out as suicide missions), the advantage, i.e., the protection of individual lives, would have to be strictly weighed against the risk to society in general.

Laws that prevent people from 'protecting themselves' serve the same purpose as any other law; they weigh the advantage to individuals against the advantage to society. That is the fallacy of the 'the police will not protect you' saw- the police were never intended to protect you. Their purpose is to protect society, and your life, in the grand scheme of society, is not very valuable. If you happen to lose it because the law prevented you from protecting yourself, that's really just tough luck.

Re:Bavarian police invading privacy!?! (1)

dougisfunny (1200171) | more than 6 years ago | (#25045721)

A gun is a tool. Guns are not evil. They can be used to do evil things, so they are outlawed because it makes it easier to do evil things.

You can say the same about knives. They make it easier to kill people as well.

Or pencils. Or cars. They're all just tools. That make it easier to kill people or do bad things.

He is raising the point, that someone intending to break the law in an act such as a mugging, they wouldn't care if they were breaking another law at the same time.

If knives/guns are outlawed, you can't use a knife/gun to defend yourself from someone attempting to mug you using a knife/gun.

Re:Bavarian police invading privacy!?! (1)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 6 years ago | (#25046007)

Society doesn't care about your life. Society also doesn't care about your ability to use tools. Society wants to protect itself, and if that means you lose your life because you can't use a tool, that's just tough luck.

Now, whether or not there is a greater value to society that comes from banning guns is a totally separate question, but is really the only relevant one.

Re:Bavarian police invading privacy!?! (1, Interesting)

Thomasje (709120) | more than 6 years ago | (#25045619)

This leads to the unexpected result of handgun murders going up after handguns are banned.

I guess that explains why there are so many more handgun homicides in Europe than in the U.S... Oh, wait.

Re:Bavarian police invading privacy!?! (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 6 years ago | (#25045681)

What were the handgun-related homicides before putting bans in place? It's not a comparison of USA versus Europe, but of europe pre-ban to Europe post-ban. After all, many lawless countries have anti-firearm laws on the books-- if you want to play with red herrings.

Re:Bavarian police invading privacy!?! (1)

jack2000 (1178961) | more than 6 years ago | (#25044873)

It's true, in Japan where there is epic Gun control, the rules can do nothing to stop those bent on breaking the law. They WILL have guns, and you the law-abiding citizen will be screwed!

Choices vs. objects (3, Interesting)

CustomDesigned (250089) | more than 6 years ago | (#25045099)

Murder can usefully be outlawed, because it is a choice that an intelligent person makes. (In fact, if the killer is mentally deficient and incapable of making that choice, it is treated different legally.) A gun, knife, automobile, HCl etc, morphine, are objects of varying degrees of danger and usefulness.

Particular objects are reasonably controlled when the danger they present is not obvious to an ordinary person. Someone not familiar with chemistry may be tragically surprised by the destructiveness of a bottle of HCl (although warning labels help). Hence it makes sense to make it hard to get unless you know what you are doing.

A knife is an obvious danger. Even if you don't speak the language. Even if you just came from deepest darkest Africa and have never seen technology before. A gun is an obvious danger to someone exposed to any technology of the last 400 years. (Although apparently too many idiots don't think about the danger of it going off accidentally.)

So objects likely to result in accidental death are controlled, and hopefully still available with a license that demonstrates basic competence. (And where you draw the line depends on how stupid you think the average citizen is.) And deliberating causing death via any means is illegal - although most places allow for circumstances like duels, self-defense, etc.

Controlling an object/substance to prevent accidental death does *not* protect anyone from intentional death via that object/substance. Gun control may prevent some accidental home shootings, but it does not stop criminals from getting guns. Heck, if nothing else go back to basics and make a primitive weapon from steel rod and homemade gunpowder like they did in the 18th century. What next? Outlaw lathes? Outlaw metal cutting tools that could be attached to a homemade lathe? Outlaw fire since it could be used to forge and temper metal cutting tools?

Re:Choices vs. objects (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 6 years ago | (#25045303)

When they outlaw CNC machinery and fabrication systems, only outlaws will have them =) You can take my CNC lathe and UV plastic prototype from my cold, dead hands.

Re:Choices vs. objects (1)

DancesWithBlowTorch (809750) | more than 6 years ago | (#25045603)

And deliberating causing death via any means is illegal - although most places allow for circumstances like duels, self-defense, etc.

Please elaborate. How is a duel (with guns) not a "deliberate causing" of "death"?

Re:Bavarian police invading privacy!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25045087)

How will they seek to outlaw the tools of prostitution? (pun intended)

Re:Bavarian police invading privacy!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25045867)

When all weapons are outlawed Vaseline is at an all time high.

Re:Bavarian police invading privacy!?! (3, Insightful)

rodgster (671476) | more than 6 years ago | (#25044509)

I would not be surprised if the NSA has something similar at work here in the US.

Re:Bavarian police invading privacy!?! (2, Insightful)

koh (124962) | more than 6 years ago | (#25044705)

Since the US government is already tapping your landlines, I would not be very surprised either.

Re:Bavarian police invading privacy!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25044793)

I would not be surprised if the NSA has something similar at work here in the US.

In the US, the NSA is the phone company.

AT&T: You're world delivered, to the NSA!

Re:Bavarian police invading privacy!?! (2, Funny)

Larryish (1215510) | more than 6 years ago | (#25045485)

it is called svchost.exe

Re:Bavarian police invading privacy!?! (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#25045775)

svchost.exe is the best name for executables of do-it-yourself keyloggers such as this [irongeek.com] one.

Re:Bavarian police invading privacy!?! (4, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 6 years ago | (#25044521)

Heh. Maybe this is what it'll take to make the general public (especially the baby boomers whose parents fought in WWII, or made other sacrifices) aware of how bad the rights deterioration in the US is.

When the Germans do it, it's scary (to a lot of people). When the US does it, is it not also scary?

Re: Bad german history (5, Insightful)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 6 years ago | (#25045241)

Comments from a German:

German history has in the past worked as a deterrent against giving the police and secret services too much power. But after 9/11 and with the generation that has lived under the Nazi regime gradually dying off, those lessons seem in danger of being forgotten.

The USA, however, have the "disadvantage" that they never had a dictatorship that was universally regarded as completely evil in hindsight. As a consequence, you guys over there have never learned these things the hard way and are (on average) way too trusting towards your government.
[Flamebait]
With stuff like arbitrarily detaining people ("illegal combatants" who are denied a fair trial) and torture of prisoners I think you are closer to a Fourth Reich than Germany.

Re: Bad german history (4, Interesting)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 6 years ago | (#25045467)

The so called "disadvantage" isn't a real disadvantage. Why? People forget, generations go past. Old people die, young people are born. World War II will be a lesson as long as people who have lived during that era can tell something about it. That may be possible now but in about 30 years almost all people who went through that period will have died. Then, nobody can tell us about the horrors of WWII, the brutalities, the bombing raids, the razzias.

World War II will become like World War I, a forgotten war. As a joke I always use "Wilhelm II" as my avatar on every forum I am a member of. Nobody knows who "the guy with the weird moustache" is. Nobody is offended because it happened before any of us lived. The shockeffect is gone. 40 million people DIED in that war and I bet not even 1% can tell you who fought who.

It's a tragedy.
And the tragedy will return, but as a farce.

Nobody is safe from failings, people thinking that they are immune to making mistakes are wrong. You WILL support the wrong guy and he will take away your freedoms. You WILL cheer for the soldiers sent into a useless and bloody war. And the lessons will be learned by you and forgotten by your children.

I feel sorry for humanity.

Re: Bad german history (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25046041)

40 million people DIED in that war and I bet not even 1% can tell you who fought who.

Well duh, they're dead.

Re: Bad german history (2, Informative)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 6 years ago | (#25046079)

As a joke I always use "Wilhelm II" as my avatar on every forum I am a member of. Nobody knows who "the guy with the weird moustache" is. Nobody is offended because it happened before any of us lived. The shockeffect is gone. 40 million people DIED in that war and I bet not even 1% can tell you who fought who.

Most people at the time probably weren't too clear on who was fighting who. That war was a confused mess. As I understand it, a Bosnian shot an Austrian, so Austria declared war on Serbia, so Russia declared war on Austria, so Germany declared war on Russia, and knowing that would mean that France declared war on them they decided to declare war on France as well because doing them first fitted in better with their railway timetables, and Belgium too because they were in the way, so Britain declared war on Germany, and then everyone proceeded to kill each other for a few years.

And the leaders of that war weren't celebrities. Churchill, Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin were all larger-than-life figures. Memorable. Charismatic. The leaders of WW1 were nowhere near so media-friendly.

Re: Bad german history (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 6 years ago | (#25045697)

The USA, however, have the "disadvantage" that they never had a dictatorship that was universally regarded as completely evil in hindsight

No, instead we keep busy eliminating everyone else's dictatorships.

Re: Bad german history (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25045753)

No, instead we keep busy eliminating everyone else's dictatorships.

... when they don't side with the USA, while deposing democratically elected governments, when those do the same, and instituting US-friendly dictatorships (Iran, all over Latin America, etc).

tmegapscm

Re:Bavarian police invading privacy!?! (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 6 years ago | (#25045417)

>When the Germans do it, it's scary (to a lot of people).

It's not 'the Germans', it's the Bavarian Police, they're more like a local LAPD.

With a name like German Pirate Party... (1)

CDMA_Demo (841347) | more than 6 years ago | (#25044593)

what did you expect, lawyers and RIAA?

Re:With a name like German Pirate Party... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25044701)

i expect adolescent whining by the paranoid dork kdawson. so no surprises here

Re:Bavarian police invading privacy!?! (1)

F-3582 (996772) | more than 6 years ago | (#25044703)

Who said that Bavaria was Germany?

Re:Bavarian police invading privacy!?! (1)

gnick (1211984) | more than 6 years ago | (#25044823)

Yes, yes. I fully realize that Bavaria is just a German state - It's actually very nice and the only part of Germany that I've been able to visit. But it's funnier to pick on the whole country even if it's inaccurate. (Although if this had gone on for some time, yielded results, and was not noticed, do you really think that it would have been contained to Bavaria?)

Isn't there a nit somewhere that needs picking?

Re:Bavarian police invading privacy!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25045335)

A bit of history may be in order here:

Bavaria has always been a bit of a special case,
resentful to this day about how they were made to become part of Germany in 1871 (as Southerners will no doubt appreciate), reiterating this point in 1949 - the new constitution not being federal enough for there liking, they where the only state to vote against it - and ever since playing the regional vs central power card wherever possible.

Which is why in the late 1970s, for instance, Bavarian police (police, like education, is a state, not a federal matter) could be, and were, given the right to shoot with the intent to kill, at a time when terrorist hysteria was rife (Bavarians had long been in favor of reintroducing capital punishment, though much to their chagrin the federal constitution prohibits this, so this was a way of reintroducing it by the back door).

Anyway, they are a weird lot, but they sure know something about brewing drinkable beer ... now why can't they just stick to that?

Still, there's worse places than that in Europe - try France: your civil rights are close to nil, and their beers are crap, too, most of its inhabitants smell awful, but the food's great ... now why can't they just stick to that?

But then France has been a bit of a special case for much longer than Bavaria - they still revere Napoleon, go figure ... ("I will return in five days. Stop washing.")

Re:Bavarian police invading privacy!?! (1)

F-3582 (996772) | more than 6 years ago | (#25045385)

I wasn't nitpicking. Many people wouldn't even consider Bavaria a part of Germany, because despite being the richest state in Germany, it's also a state being ruled by an ultra-conservative religious right-wing party (called CSU) infamous for their war on violent games for almost fifty years, now. And I think that Lederhosn look just stupid. You could probably compare Bavaria to Texas in some ways. Filled with rednecks.

Re:Bavarian police invading privacy!?! (1)

gnick (1211984) | more than 6 years ago | (#25045863)

I just got back from Lubbock, TX on Monday - Those people are damned proud of being ultra-conservative religious right-wing rednecks. But the image you just gave me of a TX family portrait with everyone wearing Lederhosn was absolutely priceless.

Actung! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25044347)

Zieg Heil

Heil /.!

Re:Actung! (4, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 6 years ago | (#25044479)

Look! I 'drew' ASCII Hitler! It's OK, though, the Bavarian Gendarmerie already pre-Godwinned the topic!

(\:7=[

Re:Actung! (2, Funny)

djdavetrouble (442175) | more than 6 years ago | (#25044601)

Zero to Godwin in 3 posts, a new record !

This part was particularly compelling: In January 2008, the Pirate Party unbestätigtes letter from the Bavarian Justice Ministry zugespielt.

Love that translation program.

Re:Actung! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25044991)

Being a German myself, I actually find the "ASCII Hitler" kind of funny.

The GGP is obviously lame, though .

Re:Actung! (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 6 years ago | (#25044669)

Look! I 'drew' ASCII Hitler!

Does that make your post illegal in Germany?

Re:Flaimebait (1)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 6 years ago | (#25044881)

Speaking of Nazi's, that should be spelled
"Achtung! Sieg Heil!"

Oblig lame joke (0)

philspear (1142299) | more than 6 years ago | (#25044353)

I prefer durex myself.

rooms (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25044379)

"several policemen at the private residence of the party's spokesman appeared and had threatened to eliminate all the rooms, if he does not cite its sources."

you see these rooms? if you do not cite your sources, we will make SURE that you'll never see them again! ever!

Re:rooms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25044427)

You better do what they say! Rumor has it that Europe has a black hole generator!

Could be worse... (5, Funny)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 6 years ago | (#25044487)

...Most governments screw you without one.

rj

How would YOU install a police state . . .? (3, Insightful)

mmell (832646) | more than 6 years ago | (#25044517)

In plain sight of the public, which might just barely conceivably still have sufficient intelligence and strength of will to stop you, or quietly, unobtrusively, all-but-unnoticed in the shadows?

"The price of Freedom is eternal vigilance." - who said that again?

Re:How would YOU install a police state . . .? (1)

thermian (1267986) | more than 6 years ago | (#25044695)

Not sure, I guess you could write a nsis script for it.

Re:How would YOU install a police state . . .? (3, Insightful)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 6 years ago | (#25044987)

Every government, ultimately, will be inclined to install a police state. It is the most efficient way for people who's main concern is enforcing the law to operate. Which would be fine if we could know that the laws were just and the people enforcing those laws were also just. But it is in human nature to disagree on such subjective terms as "just" even if we ignore that it is also human nature to abuse and become corrupted by power.

As it is a natural inclination to install a police state, the steps to do so will take many forms. Some quiet. Some with great pomp and circumstance. Some will be corrupt and self-serving. Some will be introduced with entirely good intention.

Eternal vigilance is required to maintain a check on this behavior. It is easy to point out the corrupt. It is harder to realize that the actions based on good intention leads to corruption and abuse. But ultimately, both must be identified and stopped.

It is a part of the process... an ongoing process that is likely to continue as long as we exist.

Re:How would YOU install a police state . . .? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25045483)

I very much agree with you, but I notice that less people care every day - for reasons we all could enumerate. It's like saying "will science provide solutions for the problems the future poses? Yes, of course!" but also asking "Will the powers that be listen to science? Or even only to reason?".

So, I guess we're screwed, all of us. I am from Germany and I followed the subject at hand closely - it's the same thing everywhere: it is absolutely amazing what politics and law enforcement can get away with by manipulating the public, the code of law and the way Joe Sixpack looks at things. See what they've done to the Land of the Free in the name of 2,823 dead people. And corporations. Sometimes it makes me wanna cry, really.

Re:How would YOU install a police state . . .? (2, Insightful)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 6 years ago | (#25045571)

I very much agree with you, but I notice that less people care every day - for reasons we all could enumerate. It's like saying "will science provide solutions for the problems the future poses? Yes, of course!" but also asking "Will the powers that be listen to science? Or even only to reason?".

So, I guess we're screwed, all of us.

We're going to have rough times. Its part of the ebb and flow of it all; we're wired for, and a rational system requires, conflict. But I'm not convinced we're doomed (nor are we guaranteed to survive).

If you look through history, there is always a swing of growth and decay; enlightenment and ignorance. One is a part of the other. We can only hope that the general cycle is always positive and we've done all we can to limit the damage caused by negative swings.

Re:How would YOU install a police state . . .? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25045007)

"The price of Freedom is eternal vigilance." - who said that again?

John Philpot Curran [wikipedia.org] (1790, upon election as Lord Mayor of Dublin, Ireland)

Re:How would YOU install a police state . . .? (2, Insightful)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 6 years ago | (#25045613)

Ever notice that laws against something in tech (encryption, network use, limit downloads, etc.); defense (ban guns knives Marshall Arts knowledge); or most anything else, are proposed and passed by clueless politicians without a shred of morality or knowledge of the subject. And that laws in favor of something (RIAA favorable laws, copyrot, big money bail outs etc) are passed by clueless politicians without a shred of morality or knowledge of the subject.
not that I woudl expect otherwise mind...

Bavarian Police Seeking Skype Trojan Informant (4, Funny)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 6 years ago | (#25044523)

Likes outdoor activities, pets, and long moonlit walks on the beach. Mild uniform fetish. Possible LTR. Call me soon - let's drink beer and eat Souvlakia on Walpurgisnacht!

Vacation in scenic Souvlakia... (2, Funny)

zooblethorpe (686757) | more than 6 years ago | (#25045129)

... where the wild souvlaki [wikipedia.org] herds roam! :)

Cheers,

Disconcerting convergence of technologies... (4, Insightful)

Lumenary7204 (706407) | more than 6 years ago | (#25044577)

The trends I've been noticing lately are very disconcerting.

Think about what you get when the following technologies converge:

-- IP Traceback
-- VOIP Interception
-- Keylogging
-- Deep Packet Analysis
-- Automatic Vehicle License Plate Identification
-- Public/Metro Transit Card Tracking

Everyone now has the potential to become their own "Poor Man's NSA." Even local governments, or relatively poor and/or developing countries.

Of course, if a private citizen used these tools to protect their *own* interests, they could be charged with all sorts of crimes, like illegal wiretapping, computer intrusion and abuse, etc...

Re:Disconcerting convergence of technologies... (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#25044691)

Think about what you get when the following technologies converge:
-- IP Traceback
-- VOIP Interception
-- Keylogging
-- Deep Packet Analysis
-- Automatic Vehicle License Plate Identification
-- Public/Metro Transit Card Tracking

The MAFIAA's wet dream?

Re:Disconcerting convergence of technologies... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25045341)

Once these technologies are widely applied, the MPAA is your smalles problem.

Re:Disconcerting convergence of technologies... (5, Interesting)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 6 years ago | (#25044799)

I can remember a debate I had a while back about the potential of some cheap wifi tech hooked up to a small webcam and worn on your person when going to protests or other events where you expect there to be a high chance of the police breaking the law. So that it could stream everything you see directly to a secure online store.
This would have great potential for making sure police who abuse their power get in trouble or are at least publicly shown to be abusing their power.
My friends rebuttal was that they'd simply introduce a law banning private citizens from using such devices at protests and call it a measure against pedophiles (to stop them filming the little kids walking around in the streets! You never know what they'd be thinking about if they had video of your children walking on a public street!!!).
As long as people will accept anything in the name of fighting terrorists or paedophiles then civil liberties are fucked.

Re:Disconcerting convergence of technologies... (2, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#25045243)

Actually legality of it would very from place to place. In the US it is totally legal to take pictures in public spaces but in some states it is illegal to record audio. Those laws are privacy laws.

Re:Disconcerting convergence of technologies... (2, Informative)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 6 years ago | (#25045305)

All of this has already come to pass.

It was possible to watch protesters live at the DNC and RNC at justin.tv.

The police in Minnesota arrested dozens of journalists during the RNC, many with legitamite press credentials (not that you need them to be protected by the 1st amendment). Of course they weren't arrested for engaging in a protected right, but the police arrested them all on bogus charges anyway.

Re:Disconcerting convergence of technologies... (1)

BLQWME (791611) | more than 6 years ago | (#25045387)

From what i understand, in Illinois it is illegal to film or record police activities.

Fscking civil liberties, eh? (1)

zooblethorpe (686757) | more than 6 years ago | (#25045487)

As long as people will accept anything in the name of fighting terrorists or paedophiles then civil liberties are fucked.

Aha, wery interestink, I tink hyu haff found de appropriate neurotic diagnozis! A new form of philia!

On a slightly more serious note, it seems the folks who get involved in such governmental shenanigans do indeed have a problem, though. Instead of lusting after kids, they lust after destroying civil liberties. To coin a new word, perhaps they should be labeled as katapnixiphiles? (katapnixi = repression)

Cheers,

I'm sure they'll do an excellent investigation... (2, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 6 years ago | (#25044619)

of themselves, and find no wrongdoing, as usual.

It is genuinely fucked up that, when evidence of a most-likely-illegal government surveillance program comes to light, they are hunting for the person who brought the problem to light, rather than the people who are the problem.

FFS, if evidence of an illegal program is leaked, your problem isn't leakers, it is lawbreakers.

Re:I'm sure they'll do an excellent investigation. (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 6 years ago | (#25045659)

of themselves, and find no wrongdoing, as usual.

There are always exceptions.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/state/20080916-1935-ca-immigrationrallyclash.html

Just like China (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25044645)

Even the translation feels Chinese.

Should be the opposite (2, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#25044729)

federal authorities should be seeking the bavarian fascist that initiated the program.

Re:Should be the opposite (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25045031)

federal authorities should be seeking the bavarian fascist that initiated the program.

"bavarian fascist"? That's a tautology if I've ever seen one.

Re:Should be the opposite (1)

meist3r (1061628) | more than 6 years ago | (#25045061)

He can't be that far, he's in a wheelchair after all.

Re:Should be the opposite (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#25045201)

Fascist is probably not technically true and extremely inflammatory.

However it does make me wonder just how much power the states in Germany have. I agree that it would seem a federal investigation would be in order if any laws where broken.
I am not a German and I don't know German law so for all I know this is totally legal in Germany.
I don't like it but since I am not a German voter it really isn't up to me.

Re:Should be the opposite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25045543)

We are talking about Beckstein here. Facist is an understatement. As for the legality: I'm not from Bavaria (lucky me!) so I don't really know, but if they violated any law at all, it would have to be state law. Police is mostly state-level as well, so it would in fact be up to them to investigate themselves. Which is going to work out great. For them, that is. Meanwhile, Beckstein can go back to advertising drunk driving.

Re:Should be the opposite (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#25045639)

But isn't their federal laws that would apply? In the US if some state police force did this the ACLU and the federal government would be all over them. Again I don't know and it isn't my country or state so I really have no say in it's laws. The only statment I can make on the subject is that if I was a citizen of that nation I wouldn't like it. I suggest that you guys move to Linux ASAP. I bet they haven't coded a Linux version of that Trojan.

And this surprises anyone? (1)

Twyst3d (1359973) | more than 6 years ago | (#25044735)

Seriously?

Nonsense (0, Offtopic)

Stultsinator (160564) | more than 6 years ago | (#25044743)

This is just a ruse by the Bavarian Illuminati to distract from their real weapon: Skype-induced hallucinations!

Re:Nonsense (1)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 6 years ago | (#25044895)

This is just a ruse by the Bavarian Illuminati to distract from their real weapon: Skype-induced hallucinations!

No, the Bavarian illuminati just like to run around naked [youtube.com] at Bohemian Grove.

Pirate Party?? (0, Offtopic)

TheNecromancer (179644) | more than 6 years ago | (#25044897)

Arrrr, break out the rum, me hearties!

Perhaps I'm dense, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25044943)

The informant need not worry since 'every information that could be used to identify him' is protected against unauthorized access by strong encryption

If there's strong encryption, how do they know that there's information which could be used to identify the informant?

I assume this means that someone knows that there's incriminating evidence in encrypted media. And they know where the encrypted media is, and who owns that media?

If I were the informant, I'd be worried about how reliable the owner of the encrypted information is. But, perhaps there's something I don't get?

- Anonymous(Paranoid)Coward.

Re:Perhaps I'm dense, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25045269)

The owner of the encrypted media is a technically competent member of the german pirate party executive. Though frankly, I wish he'd said "there's nothing identifying on the disks, but they're strongly encrypted anyway, so the police can waste a lot of time trying to decrypt them". I don't know if the police would try to torture him to get him to disclose the keys, but he's unlikely to disclose them voluntarily.

It happens in the UK too. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25044967)

Posting Anonymously to protect my job,

I have been working for a few months on software designed to extract skype calls from streams of captured packets. The software is highly distributed, and while I can't know the exact use, I'm guessing it will be installed near every network interconnect point. Interestingly, it has nowehere near the performance required to record every skype call on the internet, so it will probably only be used for certain targets.

The good news is that the project is failing badly due to funding issues and poor management, and probably won't be deployed for years yet.

Note that this IS with the help of skype engineers - we haven't reverse engineered the encryption.

Re:It happens in the UK too. (1)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 6 years ago | (#25045203)

The Inner party welcomes your contribution.

But? (2, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#25045011)

Does it run under Linux?
I am wondering it really could be another reason to run Linux.
I am sure that the NSA has forensics tools for Linux but I bet the local police sure don't.

Re:But? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25045845)

You would be wrong, sir.

Re:But? (1)

cpghost (719344) | more than 6 years ago | (#25046011)

I am sure that the NSA has forensics tools for Linux but I bet the local police sure don't.

As a matter of fact, the german LKAs (which are approximately the equivalent of the FBI, but limited to the local states -- Laender) do have some (very professional) Linux geeks in their computer forensics units...

But the funny thing is: even if they didn't have any in-house Linux expertise and if they couldn't contract some freelancing specialists, it wouldn't matter: as long as the file systems are not encrypted, a sector-by-sector analysis of the hard disks would still reveal the name of informants or any other sensible data just as easily. And if they were encrypted, it's a matter of cryptanalysis and cracking the key management; and that's a task that's immensely more complicated than dealing with an unfamiliar file system layout.

fr,ist 4sot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25045019)

Contradiction in terms (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25045057)

"A Pirate Party spokesman said, 'Some of our officials seem to want to install the Big Brother state without the knowledge of the public.'"

This would seem to be an impossible desire. In Orwell's 1984, the whole idea of Big Brother was that everyone knew they were under constant surveillance.

How can you know that 'Big Brother is Watching You', and at the same time not know it?

Re:Contradiction in terms (1)

Perf (14203) | more than 6 years ago | (#25045187)

This would seem to be an impossible desire. In Orwell's 1984, the whole idea of Big Brother was that everyone knew they were under constant surveillance.

1984 - Michael Moore's Cuban paradise.

Re:Contradiction in terms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25045301)

Did you read the bit about doublethink? You know that bit, it's the whole book.

Re:Contradiction in terms (1)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 6 years ago | (#25045337)

This would seem to be an impossible desire. In Orwell's 1984, the whole idea of Big Brother was that everyone knew they were under constant surveillance.

How can you know that 'Big Brother is Watching You', and at the same time not know it?

Doublethink.

Obviously you can't be a member of the inner party because you can not engage in it.

Re:Contradiction in terms (3, Interesting)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#25045429)

"A Pirate Party spokesman said, 'Some of our officials seem to want to install the Big Brother state without the knowledge of the public."

In this they are incorrect. The beauty of the Orwellification of the Western world right now is that it is with the full co-operation of the general public.

Step 1. Create imaginary bogeymen -- "terrorists", "pedophiles"
Step 2. Create hysteria that gives the false impression that said bogeymen are common, rather than, in reality, very rare.
Step 3. Create economic crisis to fan the flames of hatred and jealousy.

And viola, the general public will help you light the gas ovens.

We have learned nothing whatsoever from history. Nothing. Not. One. Thing.

Re:Contradiction in terms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25045685)

"Multi-culturalism" at its finest.

Re:Contradiction in terms (1)

ThatGuyJon (1299463) | more than 6 years ago | (#25045601)

IIRC, everyone in the party knew they were under surveillance. The proles were observed without their knowledge.

Stasi 2.0 (3, Interesting)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 6 years ago | (#25045239)

For the first time in my life, I will attempt to post something informative on Slashdot.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stasi_2.0 [wikipedia.org]

The, err, um, joke, is that the Stasi were the former East German secret police (1.0).

The major failure of the Stasi (1.0), was that they were collecting too much data, that they could ever dream of analyzing.

Has 2.0 deeper pockets?

Re:Stasi 2.0 (3, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#25045353)

Has 2.0 deeper pockets?

      No, but the cost of sifting through that information is almost negligible nowadays, with our computers and even voice analysis software. Far more efficient than filing cabinets and typewriters.

Re:Stasi 2.0 (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 6 years ago | (#25045551)

Far more efficient than filing cabinets and typewriters.

Which brings me to the punch line: a colleague of mine from former East Germany told me about programming his first C programs ... on a VAX ... more than 20 years ago ... before the wall went down. I thought that VAXen were still restricted by export stuff back then.

Ironically, he said that he never had heard of IBM ... well, I guess we can't really blame everything on them.

Re:Stasi 2.0 (2, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#25045581)

well, I guess we can't really blame everything on them.

      Nah, we have George Bush for THAT.

English Press release (2, Informative)

nxsty (942984) | more than 6 years ago | (#25045655)

Probably a bit better than the translated page:
http://wiki.piratenpartei.de/Press_release_2008-09-17 [piratenpartei.de]

Also check out this mail to the Pirate Party International list:
http://lists.pirateweb.net/pipermail/pp.international.general/2008-September/001514.html [pirateweb.net]

In Nazi Germany... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25046143)

Government spies on YOU!

OK, OK, not as funny as Soviet Russia for some reason. And the Rooskies killed as many people.

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