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German State Confesses To, Downplays Government Spyware

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the nussink-to-vorry-about dept.

Privacy 104

First time accepted submitter clickforfreepizza writes with this news on the German 'state trojan' analyzed by the CCC: '[The] Bavarian Interior Minister [confirmed] that state officials had indeed used the software, but argued that the use had been conducted legally. [...] [A] lawyer said his client had had the software in question installed on his computer during a customs check. That software, which could be legally used for monitoring telecommunications, had been altered to allow it to grab screen shots.' The H's sister site heise.de reports this case involves nothing like terrorism, but legal substances which 'may become' illegal when exported. (German original) The Bavarian press release (German original) also says the code analyzed by the CCC might be an earlier test version."

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I'm so disappointed in you Germany (4, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37678962)

I just can't believe that *Germans* would engage in such heavy-handed government repression.

Re:I'm so disappointed in you Germany (0)

Anon-Admin (443764) | more than 2 years ago | (#37679044)

In his best Sgt Schultz voice "I see nothing"

Re:I'm so disappointed in you Germany (1)

laejoh (648921) | more than 2 years ago | (#37687376)

In his best John Cleese voice "Don't mention the war"

Re:I'm so disappointed in you Germany (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37679232)

I just can't believe that *Germans* would engage in such heavy-handed government repression.

Seriously, is there a nationality you could sub in there that would not make this funny?

I just can't believe that *French* would engage in such heavy-handed government repression.

I just can't believe that *British* would engage in such heavy-handed government repression.

I just can't believe that *Americans* would engage in such heavy-handed government repression.

I just can't believe that *Russians* would engage in such heavy-handed government repression.

I just can't believe that *Chinese* would engage in such heavy-handed government repression.

I just can't believe that *Canadians* would engage in such heavy-handed government repression.

Even that last one works.

Re:I'm so disappointed in you Germany (0)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37679284)

I just can't believe that *Germans* would engage in such heavy-handed government repression.

Seriously, is there a nationality you could sub in there that would not make this funny?

I just can't believe that *French* would engage in such heavy-handed government repression.

I just can't believe that *British* would engage in such heavy-handed government repression.

I just can't believe that *Americans* would engage in such heavy-handed government repression.

I just can't believe that *Russians* would engage in such heavy-handed government repression.

I just can't believe that *Chinese* would engage in such heavy-handed government repression.

I just can't believe that *Canadians* would engage in such heavy-handed government repression.

Even that last one works.

Yes, change it to any Islamic regime and the liberals will have a field day telling you how unfunny it is.

I just can't believe that *Iranians* would engage in such heavy-handed government repression.

I just can't believe that *Pakistanis* would engage in such heavy-handed government repression.

Re:I'm so disappointed in you Germany (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 2 years ago | (#37679430)

Um... Why would liberals have a problem with calling out some of the most oppressive anti liberal regimes in the world? I suspect you may be confused about what being liberal is all about.

Re:I'm so disappointed in you Germany (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37679648)

That is soooo true- I mean, the way that people stare at me every Winter Solstice when I dance around my Gaia stone with the pic of Markos Moulitsas Zuniga held joyously over my head, you can tell that they just don't get it.

Re:I'm so disappointed in you Germany (1)

Monchanger (637670) | more than 2 years ago | (#37680466)

Um... Why would liberals have a problem with calling out some of the most oppressive anti liberal regimes in the world? I suspect you may be confused about what being liberal is all about.

The way I understand it from watching the only fair and balanced news channel in the world, being liberal is all about being wrong. Am I missing something?
</straight_face>

Re:I'm so disappointed in you Germany (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37681136)

Yes. Replace "wrong" with "evil."

Re:I'm so disappointed in you Germany (1)

Monchanger (637670) | more than 2 years ago | (#37680484)

The way I understand it from watching the only fair and balanced news channel in the world, being liberal is all about being wrong. Am I missing something?
</straight_face>

Re:I'm so disappointed in you Germany (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37680682)

Communist China, Communist Cuba, Communist Russia are or were the most liberal nations in the world.

Re:I'm so disappointed in you Germany (1, Troll)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 2 years ago | (#37680814)

No. No they were not. They are oppressive authoritarian regimes who use fear, violence and lies to suppress their people. They are anti liberal.

Re:I'm so disappointed in you Germany (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37686182)

And you are one of the most enlightened and intelligent people in slashdot too!

Re:I'm so disappointed in you Germany (2, Informative)

Jawnn (445279) | more than 2 years ago | (#37680156)

Yes, change it to any Islamic regime and the liberals will have a field day telling you how unfunny it is.

I just can't believe that *Iranians* would engage in such heavy-handed government repression.

I just can't believe that *Pakistanis* would engage in such heavy-handed government repression.

Really? On what do you base this remarkable assertion? Oh..., right; the blathering of right-wing talking heads. If you'd bother to pull your head out of your ass, and look around, you'd find that most of the people you've labeled "liberal", will be soundly against human rights violations such as the one described in TFA.

Re:I'm so disappointed in you Germany (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37681352)

Yes, change it to any Islamic regime and the liberals will have a field day telling you how unfunny it is.

I just can't believe that *Iranians* would engage in such heavy-handed government repression.

I just can't believe that *Pakistanis* would engage in such heavy-handed government repression.

Really? On what do you base this remarkable assertion? Oh..., right; the blathering of right-wing talking heads. If you'd bother to pull your head out of your ass, and look around, you'd find that most of the people you've labeled "liberal", will be soundly against human rights violations such as the one described in TFA.

Point proven I think

Re:I'm so disappointed in you Germany (1)

slick7 (1703596) | more than 2 years ago | (#37685446)

I just can't believe that *Germans* would engage in such heavy-handed government repression.

Seriously, is there a nationality you could sub in there that would not make this funny?

I just can't believe that *French* would engage in such heavy-handed government repression.

I just can't believe that *British* would engage in such heavy-handed government repression.

I just can't believe that *Americans* would engage in such heavy-handed government repression.

I just can't believe that *Russians* would engage in such heavy-handed government repression.

I just can't believe that *Chinese* would engage in such heavy-handed government repression.

I just can't believe that *Canadians* would engage in such heavy-handed government repression.

Even that last one works.

Yes, change it to any Islamic regime and the liberals will have a field day telling you how unfunny it is.

I just can't believe that *Iranians* would engage in such heavy-handed government repression.

I just can't believe that *Pakistanis* would engage in such heavy-handed government repression.

I just can't believe that *Corporations* would engage in such heavy-handed government repression.

FTFY

Re:I'm so disappointed in you Germany (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37679990)

Yeah, you could apply that bit of sarcasm to any country, but there's quite a bit of baggage that comes with starting two World Wars and electing a leader whose name would become synonymous with "evil."

Russia and China both could pull it off almost as well but notice that Godwin's law doesn't mention comparisons to Stalin or Mao Tse-Tung.

Re:I'm so disappointed in you Germany (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 2 years ago | (#37681244)

Germany didn't start WW1, it started pretty much by itself. One guy got murdered and a ton of automatic defense treaties triggered so suddenly Europe was at war.

Re:I'm so disappointed in you Germany (1)

slick7 (1703596) | more than 2 years ago | (#37685452)

Germany didn't start WW1, it started pretty much by itself. One guy got murdered and a ton of automatic defense treaties triggered so suddenly Europe was at war.

And the banksters keep getting richer.

Re:I'm so disappointed in you Germany (4, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#37679274)

Heaven: Where the chefs are French, the police British, the carmakers German, and the lovers Italian, all organized by the Swiss.

Hell: Where the chefs are British, the police German, the carmakers French, the lovers Swiss, all organized by the Italians.

Re:I'm so disappointed in you Germany (0)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37679334)

Surely the Heaven lovers are the french and the chefs are italian, not the other way round..?

Re:I'm so disappointed in you Germany (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 2 years ago | (#37679466)

Seeing the French invented the culinary rules, no. The chefs in heaven are French. I mean come on - the Italians won't even put a bit of cheese in with the seafood.

Disclaimer: I actually like Italian cuisine much more than French. I also am not really a fan of many things French, but cooking is one of the things I can't fault them for.

Re:I'm so disappointed in you Germany (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37679846)

"the Italians won't even put a bit of cheese in with the seafood"

Depends which end of Italy you're in.

Re:I'm so disappointed in you Germany (1)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37687628)

Yeah but who heard of Italian lovers? French are the lovers, surely!

Re:I'm so disappointed in you Germany (2, Insightful)

daem0n1x (748565) | more than 2 years ago | (#37679364)

Hell: Where the chefs are British, the police German, the carmakers French, the lovers Swiss, all organized by the Italians.

And the accountants are Greek.

Re:I'm so disappointed in you Germany (1)

tivoKlr (659818) | more than 2 years ago | (#37679672)

So we're living Hell on earth?

Re:I'm so disappointed in you Germany (4, Funny)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37680034)

I heard another one like this:

Heaven is a British home, a Chinese chef, an American salary and a Japanese wife.

Hell is a Japanese home, a British chef, a Chinese salary and an American wife.

Re:I'm so disappointed in you Germany (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37685848)

An American salary, seriously?
I sure wouldn't want to exchange my German salary for that and I believe neither would the French, the British and probably many more.

Re:I'm so disappointed in you Germany (1)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37687652)

That idea of heaven sounds like purgatory to me, not exactly heaven. Whilst Chinese food is nice, and Japanese women sure know how to treat a man, British homes are awful and American salaries, compared to say, a Norwegian salary (or even a British one) are not very good.

I would change it to: Heaven is an American home (nice and big, generally well built), A Chinese/French/Italian chef, a Norwegian salary, and a Japanese wife.
Hell is a British home (I know, I have lived in a few, and compared to Norwegian, American, Austrian, Swiss, they are really badly built), a British chef (this is starting to sound like a bash-Britain post now, sorry), a Chinese salary, and a...well mine is British so I don't know what to say here.....

Re:I'm so disappointed in you Germany (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37684994)

the police British

You mean the institutionally racist force which have frequently been found to shoot dead completely innocent people that posed no threat, and respond with coverups and lies, pretending the individuals in question were being violent or otherwise dangerous?

Re:I'm so disappointed in you Germany (0)

daem0n1x (748565) | more than 2 years ago | (#37679338)

It's nice to see a discussion that's practically Godwyned even before the first post was written.

Re:I'm so disappointed in you Germany (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#37680382)

I've always had this theory...

What if the hard drive is removed prior to passing through the checkpoint. Or rather shipped separately, so I'd be passing through with a non-functioning laptop. Never tried it, I don't bring a laptop on vacation, f that, but what about for people who travel international? I don't think a hard drive would get searched in baggage in it's off state.

Re:I'm so disappointed in you Germany (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 2 years ago | (#37680738)

Likely successful and even simpler, get a second hard drive. Pack one in your checked baggage (most people check at least one bag flying internationally I think) inside an anti-static bag with your "real" OS and data, put a second cheap one into the laptop with a basic Windows (or Linux to save even more money) install and maybe a game or some non-sensitive work stuff to keep you occupied on the flight. Like you say, I doubt they'd make you install and check a second drive, especially if it were sealed up and looked clean. You could also encrypt it, in case it got lost or separated from you.

I mean, it might be risky if you were flying into Iran or China or some other seriously locked down society, but for the casual security theater of most tourist nations it would probably suffice. I've flown in and out of Europe and the US, generally even when they bother with this sort of intrusive stuff they're fairly half-assed about it.

Re:I'm so disappointed in you Germany (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37681100)

Even better: Buy a starter pistol. Don't buy ammo. Buy a largish lockable gun case rated for airline travel. Declare it at the counter. Pack the hard drive (and other valuables) in aforesaid container. Far fewer ways for things to go "missing" in transit. Never tried it, likely never will, but it sounds like it should work.

Re:I'm so disappointed in you Germany (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#37681388)

Right, that would definitely work, my goal would be to prevent the intrusive government from installing anything on my computer and not wasting any time. I would be a little paranoid of that second hard drive within the scope of this article, since the government probably has rootkit grade stuff. But now that I think of, add have a system imagine from ghost or something and flash back to that every flight on your 2nd hard drive and that would kill the root kits. I'm thinking more along the lines of people like to bring the laptop on board so it doesn't get damaged during shipping, but don't want their shit searched. What's the customs official gonna say? "Sir your missing a hard drive that's a crime?" Just be like it fried right before I left X country and I tossed it to get a new one here.

Re:I'm so disappointed in you Germany (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37681548)

German State Confesses To, Downplays Government Spyware

The German State confesses to nothing. We merely acknowledge that we use technology for the social good of society, like pre-crime detection.

Verstehe?

".. has been altered ..." (1)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 2 years ago | (#37679056)

It actually hasn't been altered but retains its initial functionality even though a prominent decision by Germany's constitutional court requires the abilities to be limited to tapping into digital phone calls.
They simply didn't castrate the program, violating that court order in the process.

Re:".. has been altered ..." (5, Insightful)

Millennium (2451) | more than 2 years ago | (#37679154)

There are some government powers for which safeguards against abuse simply are not sufficient. The power itself must be taken away, because the eventual abuse cannot be worth any beneficial uses it might have.

Re:".. has been altered ..." (2)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37679172)

But think of all the children! etc

Re:".. has been altered ..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37679462)

They tried taking power away in the United States, with the interesting idea of only providing enumerated powers to the [federal] government, and setting up checks and balances to keep things that way. Look at how well that is turning out...

Re:".. has been altered ..." (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#37679838)

They tried taking power away in the United States, with the interesting idea of only providing enumerated powers to the [federal] government, and setting up checks and balances to keep things that way.

Look at how well that is turning out...

Well, the corporations figured out that sending checks to the government works better, because it increases the balance on their bank account.

Re:".. has been altered ..." (1)

timbo234 (833667) | more than 2 years ago | (#37688410)

Indeed, and of all the political parties trying to use this mess to their advantage at the moment the only ones who grasp this point are the Pirate Party.

""Es gibt keinerlei Möglichkeit, einen Trojaner zu installieren, der den rechtlichen Erfordernissen entspricht." Ein Richter könne nie nachweisen, ob Beweismittel auf Computern eines Überwachten nachträglich verändert wurden."

In English:
"There is no possible way to install a trojan that satisfies the legal requirements*. A judge can never prove whether evidence on the computer of a person who has been monitored has been altered after the fact or not."

  (*referring to an earlier judgement by the constitutional court that spying programs can only be used to record VOIP conversations and email exchanges and strictly nothing else)

Source: http://www.sueddeutsche.de/digital/streit-um-staatstrojaner-spaehprogramm-entzweit-schwarz-gelb-1.1160102-2 [sueddeutsche.de]

Re:".. has been altered ..." (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#37679796)

Pray they do not alter it any further.

Re:".. has been altered ..." (1)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 2 years ago | (#37680832)

Seems like you're still rather new to this whole "reading" thing.

Re:".. has been altered ..." (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#37681332)

No, I'm just plenty willing to abandon accuracy for a cheap pop culture reference.

One simple question. (3, Interesting)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | more than 2 years ago | (#37679118)

And I have still this one simple question: How are the infecting the systems and is it cross-platform?

Re:One simple question. (1)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | more than 2 years ago | (#37679136)

Arrr...that's technically two questions, I know.

Re:One simple question. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37679146)

And I have still this one simple question: How are the infecting the systems and is it cross-platform?

The jews are spreading infections

Re:One simple question. (-1, Offtopic)

The Dawn Of Time (2115350) | more than 2 years ago | (#37679294)

I laughed

Re:One simple question. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37679176)

heh, it is a glorious example of government contracted engineers of the highest quality ....

it only runs on win32 (the version mentioned by ccc, there might be others)

Re:One simple question. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37679200)

Apparently it targets all available platforms. As long as they are Windows... and 32bit.

Re:One simple question. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37679230)

The executable that was dissected was Win32 only and not self-replicating. It was supposed to be installed while authorities had physical access to the machine.

Re:One simple question. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37679244)

The version that the CCC disassembled was a set of Windows DLL binaries that were apparently installed when the Laptop was taken at a toll checkpoint.
As of yet, no infected Mac or Linux devices have been discovered.

Re:One simple question. (3, Informative)

jeti (105266) | more than 2 years ago | (#37679262)

The lawyer of one person who had this spyware on his laptop claims that it was installed by customs officers at the Munich airport. Apparently there have also been cases where the police secretly broke into the apartment of a suspect (and claims the break in was covered by a simple search warrant).

The version analyzed by the CCC only works on Windows (32 bit). It is unclear whether additional versions exist.

Re:One simple question. (4, Informative)

moonbender (547943) | more than 2 years ago | (#37679380)

Someone else mentioned installing it at the border -- yet another reason for completely wiping the system before and after a border check. There are two known cases where this happened. In another case, they broke into someone's home and installed the software on two computers. None of these cases involved terrorism, or child abuse, for that matter.

Source (German, obviously): http://taz.de/Staatstrojaner-gegen-Drogendealer/!79701/ [taz.de]

Re:One simple question. (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 2 years ago | (#37679830)

And I have still this one simple question: How are the infecting the systems

In this case, the software was probably installed during a "check" at customs when the victim came home from an international trip.

But the article also mentioned that in other cases it was installed using "black bag" operations (i.e. "legal" burglaries).

and is it cross-platform?

probably not. And the fact that the CCC learned about so many cases of use seems to indicate to me that even a moderately intelligent windows user would notice that something is amiss...

Re:One simple question. (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 2 years ago | (#37682190)

This may be a good case for a TPM on computers. A "black bag" operation would then force the user to have to pull out a recovery key in order to boot the attacked machine.

Of course, one can theorize about a backdoor in a TPM, but that would require a lot of international cooperation, a lot more than just using an "official" keylogger.

Re:One simple question. (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 2 years ago | (#37682522)

one can theorize about a backdoor in a TPM, but that would require a lot of international cooperation, a lot more than just using an "official" keylogger.

So, it might make the German users safer against these shenanigans, but what about the US users?

And if well done, the TPM could actually be abused to seamlessly hide any Trojans, so the NSA might even entrust the German authorities with the secret, without fear of the CCC discovering it...

Re:One simple question. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37688272)

How would computers become infected by the R2D2 Trojan (aka 'state trojan)'?
The malware targets Windows computers. Typically you might receive an email containing an attached file, or a link to the web which would then infect the computer.

It seems not to be cross-platform and just to infect 32bit Windows machines so far.

More information can be found here:
http://www.sophos.com/en-us/threat-center/threat-analyses/viruses-and-spyware/Troj~BckR2D2-A/detailed-analysis.aspx

Another sign the US is slipping... (0)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#37679132)

Yet another thing we are not first to implement! I demand the government rectify this immediately before places like France and Canada have government spyware before us.

Re:Another sign the US is slipping... (1)

dyingtolive (1393037) | more than 2 years ago | (#37679888)

We CANNOT allow a government spyware GAP!

Obligitory (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37679162)

blah blah should have used OSx blah blah blah why cant my mouth hold all these Apple penises

Altering a computer: inadmissble evicence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37679212)

When your hard drive is confiscated for evidence they have to take painstaking efforts to never alter so much as a single byte on the drive.

They cannot install software on the drive that changes the drive and expect to use anything on the device as evidence.

And they can even arbitrarily download data to the drive. Even if they don't download anything, they could have planted evidence. All you need in most courts to prove innocence is that the police could have planted evidence. Why provide a capability that you never plan to use?

Re:Altering a computer: inadmissble evicence (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37679304)

It could possibly be used for surveillance - planting it on the machine of a little fish to see if he's talking to someone you suspect to be a big fish. While you can never bring the little fish in or use his machine as evidence, you can probably get enough evidence to build a case against the bigger fish and obtain permissions to search and seize the big fish's equipment. I am not advocating blanket surveillance of just anyone to see if anyone is breaking the law. I think that the spirit of Habeas Corpus means that you pretty much have to know specifically what you are going after when you want to set up surveillance. However I can understand how software like this could be useful. It absolutely violates the rights of free citizens though.

Re:Altering a computer: inadmissble evicence (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#37680930)

Planted? Oh please, not us, we're the good guys. Here's the modus operandi:

1. Install trojan
2. Plant evidence
3. Get search warrant (with screenshots of the evidence)
4. Delete trojan
5. Seize equipment and have it analyzed.

Trojan? What trojan?

Digitask (4, Informative)

think_nix (1467471) | more than 2 years ago | (#37679216)

Vaguely referenced in the original heise.de article the company responsible for programming the trojan is "digitask". They charged neighboring Bavarian state Baden-Württemberg 1,2 million Euros for some components of the software in 2007. From the Spiegel article below also looks like digitask was being commissioned to implement a complete digital "Big Brother" system from certain states. So looks like more German states than just Bavaria are implicated in this.

source german: http://www.spiegel.de/netzwelt/netzpolitik/0,1518,791112,00.html [spiegel.de]

Also another English article from spiegel :http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,790944,00.html

Re:Digitask (3, Informative)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 2 years ago | (#37679358)

More info [dw-world.de] (in English) on Digitask from Deutsche Welle news

Re:Digitask (1)

dvdkhlng (1803364) | more than 2 years ago | (#37679502)

Cryptome has this leaked Digitask presentation [cryptome.org] , detailing how their "Remote Forensic Software" product works. Among others, the presentation lists HTTPS, IM-Clients, encrypted POP, SMTP, GPG, VPN, Skype and disk-encryption as possible targets for their "LI" (Lawful(!) Interception) systems.

Re:Digitask (2)

jeti (105266) | more than 2 years ago | (#37681172)

And DigiTask is owned by Deloitte. And Otto Schily, former minister of the interior, is one of the chairmen of Deloitte.

we can, but you can't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37679222)

state officials had indeed used the software, but argued that the use had been conducted legally

IANAL! but...

i've recently noticed a trend among the german security researchers. they've been self censoring their own programs and binaries in an effort to comply with new harshly worded legislation regarding programs and 'hacktools'. this makes me wonder if 'legal' usage of the described software is even possible.

Re:we can, but you can't (1)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 2 years ago | (#37679366)

Yes, thanks to sloppy wording there could even be trouble if you're using Wireshark to analyze traffic on a network you're doing maintenance for.

Re:we can, but you can't (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#37680906)

Thanks to the sloppy wording even vi is a hacking tool.

In a nutshell, just ignore it. You're guilty anyway, why bother trying to uphold a law you break by existing?

deja vu? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37679310)

nobody has the intention of building a surveillance state [wikipedia.org] !

.~.

Ahhh... Bavaria... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37679326)

Bavaria is the conservative corner of Germany. You may know them for BMW, mountains, castles and the Oktoberfest.

But they're really very conservative Germans who vote the christian right (CSU) every fucking time and I am ashamed of them.

If you buy products from Bavaria you support conservatism and, to some degree, a habitus that hasn't been heard of since Nazi Germany.

Ask a random German and he will acknowledge this.

Bavaria is the Bible-belt of Germany.

Re:Ahhh... Bavaria... (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#37679752)

But they're really very conservative Germans who vote the christian right (CSU) every fucking time and I am ashamed of them.

Don't over-generalize. Yes, many people in Bavaria vote CSU, but not all (I don't, for one). And actually the number of people doing so is declining (the CSU already lost the absolute majority in Bavaria, and it is already speculated that after next elections, they might not even get enough votes to get into government again).

Also, part of the problem may be that the Bavarian SPD has a long tradition of putting up bad top candidates. This time they actually have a good top candidate, which may help quite a bit.

Re:Ahhh... Bavaria... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#37680878)

ALREADY? They ruled since WW2 without a moment of pause for reality to get into that country, you call that ALREADY?

I call that "about damn friggin' time"!

Re:Ahhh... Bavaria... (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#37681584)

ALREADY?

Yes, it's already speculated, because it's still two years to the election.

They ruled since WW2 without a moment of pause for reality to get into that country, you call that ALREADY?

Well, that's factually wrong (although not too far from the truth). They didn't rule from 1954 to 1957.

Re:Ahhh... Bavaria... (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 2 years ago | (#37681008)

Well, this is veering off-topic, but do you really believe Ude can do it? He's popular in Munich, true, but outside of it? Besides, who else is there to fill the ranks as ministers and secretaries? As much as I'd love to see the CSU go next time, I'll only believe it when I see it.

Anyway, Servus to a fellow Bavarian slashdotter.

Re:Ahhh... Bavaria... (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#37681934)

Well, this is veering off-topic, but do you really believe Ude can do it? He's popular in Munich, true, but outside of it? Besides, who else is there to fill the ranks as ministers and secretaries? As much as I'd love to see the CSU go next time, I'll only believe it when I see it.

Anyway, Servus to a fellow Bavarian slashdotter.

Well, it will certainly not be because of Ude alone, but it certainly helps if there's a candidate which you at least have heard of before (but then, I might overestimate that because I'm originally from Oberbayern). There's also the all-time low of the FDP (which I hope will continue until then). OTOH, the Grüne are currently quite strong; it will be seen how much they can save until 2013. I doubt that the CSU will again get absolute majority, therefore I see a real chance to get a change (even more so if the Piratenpartei should manage to get over 5%, but I admit that might be unrealistic).

Of course there's a lot of time until 2013, so things can still change much, but that's true in both directions.

Re:Ahhh... Bavaria... (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 2 years ago | (#37682206)

Well, I am living in Munich now, but originally I am from Frankonia - and when I ask around there, the enthusiasm about Ude is limited. Then again, that's at the rural arse-end of Oberfranken, where the enthusiasm for anything not midnight-black is generally limited... As you say, a lot can happen - let's hope for the best.

Re:Ahhh... Bavaria... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37679824)

What's the difference between a porcupine and a BMW? A porcupine has all it's pricks on the outside.

For those who don't RTFA (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | more than 2 years ago | (#37679390)

The programme had been used in 2009, he said.

statsi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37679480)

This is what the statsi did during the cold war. Spying on your own citizens should be a crime.

Re:statsi (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#37680850)

Erich Mielke would be so proud. His dream finally comes true.

That it's in Bavaria, the country with the most die-hard right leaning government in Germany (seriously, no change in power since WW2, always a CSU dominated state), must really fill the old man with pride.

Downplaying for sure (1)

no-body (127863) | more than 2 years ago | (#37679792)

A - (old/pre version) CCC had several sources/versions of the trojan to examine, they were very similar or identical (obeying the same US command center)
B - (info not mentioned) News sources (German Radio in particular) never mention that all information gathered (thousands - 60? of screen shots in the airport-laptop infection case) went through the hard coded IP address (207.158.22.134) of the trojan command center's US server(s). Maybe that's below people's event horizon?
 

Some background info (5, Informative)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | more than 2 years ago | (#37680226)

The issue is ore complex.

First of all the german supreme court denied "the police" the right to have such a program in the extend it is used now. Important functionallity, like uploading and installing additional additional components was not allowed. Also a "search warrant" was required to install it.

In the given cases it seems the police just did what they pleased.
On top of that the "Police Trojan" is a true backdoor. It allows loading of arbitrary code via the internet. It allows remote control and screenshots, so you easy can remote control type a compromising email, screen shot it and thus forge evidence.
And on TOP OF THAT they included (forbidden by the supreme court) the option to activate cameras and microphones without the notice of the owner.
By that they are able to record innocent by standers, or take naked photos of people in the living room etc.
The outcry is so big that one of the most conservative german news papers (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, FAZ) printed the dissasembled code in the "feature pages" (feuilleton) with comments added by the Hackers from Chaos Computer Club.

no no no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37680586)

They weren't not only able to take screenshots, they used this functionality. But - oh wonder - this was all completely legal.

cb

Re:Some background info (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37680826)

The issue is ore complex.

First of all the german supreme court denied "the police" the right to have such a program in the extend it is used now. Important functionallity, like uploading and installing additional additional components was not allowed. Also a "search warrant" was required to install it.

just because the functionality exists does not imply that it was actually used - it's completely unclear whether the police/customs/federal police having a too powerful tool at their disposal is a legal problem as long as they don't use the offending functionality

Re:Some background info (1)

theArtificial (613980) | more than 2 years ago | (#37681784)

just because the functionality exists does not imply that it was actually used - it's completely unclear whether the police/customs/federal police having a too powerful tool at their disposal is a legal problem as long as they don't use the offending functionality

For some the temptation may be too great. Why not release different versions with functionality appropriate for the situation? As I understand it Germany doesn't have any laws regarding illegally collected evidence being inadmissible. In this instance it seems like a conflict of interest.

Re:Some background info (1)

del_diablo (1747634) | more than 2 years ago | (#37682086)

If they don't have any spesific laws on the issue allowing parts of the goverment black holes that enable them to do such things, its illegal.
Now, where are the heads that will roll?

Re:Some background info (1)

theArtificial (613980) | more than 2 years ago | (#37682268)

If they don't have any spesific laws on the issue allowing parts of the goverment black holes that enable them to do such things, its illegal. Now, where are the heads that will roll?

I'd like to clarify my comment. The federal courts have already weighed in on the use such software and from what has been uncovered by reviewing disassembled program it doesn't appear to be lawful. I don't condone the use of software like this and my post discusses nothing about the legality of the tool only that evidence collected is admissible (which is cause for alarm). I wrote my comment with the assumption that the reader is informed about the rulings of the German courts.

Several German states admit to use of the software (2)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 2 years ago | (#37680362)

Several German states admit to use of controversial spy software

Several additional German states have admitted to deploying spyware in order to investigate serious criminal offenses, according to regional media sources. The interior ministers of the states of Baden-Württemberg, Brandenburg, Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony said that regional police had used the software within the parameters of the law. In Lower Saxony, the software has been in use for two years, according to the public broadcaster NDR. Authorities in Brandenburg, meanwhile, told the daily Berliner Morgenpost that they are currently using the spyware in a single, on-going investigation. Baden-Württemberg has also used such software to investigate "individual cases," according to the Badische Zeitung. The interior ministry in the western state North Rhine-Westphalia also admitted that police had used the software in two instances, both of which had been approved by a judge. The news agency dpa reported that both cases had involved serious drug crimes....

See the article [dw-world.de] (in English) for the full text.

Re:Several German states admit to use of the softw (1)

clickforfreepizza (2465094) | more than 2 years ago | (#37681598)

Submitter here. Thanks for doing the editor's job. I added [slashdot.org] this information when it became available.

Legally? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#37680808)

There is NO way to use spyware that has the ability to update itself at the whim of its controller legally unless "anything goes" has been made legal for law enforcement. And, pointedly, the Bundesverfassungsgericht (federal constitutional court) explicitly said it ain't so! One could argue if due process and diligence was in place, but I see no trace thereof. Hell, even the versions the CCC analyzed were not within the confines of the law, why bother with updates to step out of legality, we never were inside it!

That they call this "legal" alone shows me just how much they care about legality in the first place.

Good stuff happening over here in that dept. (2)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 2 years ago | (#37681218)

This whole German 'Federal Trojan' thing is blowing up in the faces of the conservative right, just as we speak. Just like with the Websperren and IP storaging thing. Wonderfull sight to look at. I'm currently sitting back, watching the fray unravel before me and enjoying my popcorn.

The supreme court will cancel this crapshot (once again) These guys have been doing overtime ever since Schäuble was Minister for Internal Affairs.

The press is having a field day, opposition in parliament will be anal-probing the responible, Schäuble, Von der Leyen and Co. will be backpedaling yet again and the pirate party will get pushed from an allready impressive 8% all the way beyond 10% in the polls nationwide. Well done. The Chaos Computer Club saved the day once again (kudos and thank go out to them) and the professional required-by-law privacy protection experts are all over this like a cheap suit.
Gotta love it.
Nothing beats a 50ies+ old-school roughneck polititian screwing around with them internets and accompaning laws and falling flat on his face a year or two later.
Wonderfull, just wonderfull.

My 2 cents.

Re:Good stuff happening over here in that dept. (1)

vorlich (972710) | more than 2 years ago | (#37681754)

Qbertino's analysis of the present situation is well observed and accurate and his English(!) is certainly vastly superior to my German, despite my long residence here. This is the hot topic of my friends and family here. They are not happy!
No hang on English understatement could be misunderstood.
THEY ARE ABSO- F@#KING-LUTELY OUTRAGED-SCREAMING BLUE MURDER!
That's better.
Kudos to the Chaos Computer Club for all their efforts on this and it really makes that 70 euro membership very, very justifiable what with the shop discount and the annual Geek Camp. I have had the application form in my in tray for about seven months. Perhaps I shall give myself an early Christmas present and join. Kudos to you too Qbertino.

Re:Good stuff happening over here in that dept. (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 2 years ago | (#37683750)

Yeah, I see people talking about "surprise surprise, the Germans are doing this nasty shit", and I'm like, uh... they're not going to get away with it. The US government has done some outright horrible crap as well, but no one jumps on their case for NSA warrant-less wiretaps (just as bad as this) because they were never ruled by a fascist government.

The fact is that Germany has learned its lesson well, and the German people aren't going to just lay down and take this. If anything there is a strong reaction of: "Never again!" in the German people.

I certainly expect, like you, that this will have a damning effect upon anyone who was involved. The German people won't let this go, and the outrage will hopefully push down the conservatives from power.

They'll just bomb it away ... (1)

Lazy Jones (8403) | more than 2 years ago | (#37682662)

Call me paranoid, but with Germany's police track record [wikipedia.org] , I have few doubts that they'll just organize some fake (or real) terrorist attacks to get rid of these negative headlines and get the people back into sheeple mode ... It may have already started [diplomunion.com] .
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