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Expenditure Report Reveals Germany Monitors Skype, Google Mail, Facebook Chat

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the blame-the-accountants dept.

Government 89

hypnosec writes "The German Government has gone a bit too far trying to be transparent, inadvertently revealing that German police monitor Skype, Google Mail, MSN Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, and Facebook chat when necessary. The revelations, spotted by the annalist blog, come from a report of expenses incurred by the Federal Ministry of the Interior following a parliamentary inquiry. The report contains lots of tables and as many would find those boring, some highlights: On page 34 and page 37 of the report line item 486 and 265 respectively, represent decoding software for Google Mail, MSN Hotmail, Yahoo Mail for prevention and investigation."

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Reveals too much? (5, Insightful)

SquarePixel (1851068) | about 2 years ago | (#41608491)

Isn't it good that the government is transparent?

Re:Reveals too much? (5, Insightful)

Isaac Remuant (1891806) | about 2 years ago | (#41608701)

I don't understand why the modded you down.

Being transparent (and therefore disclosing what can be seen as wrongdoing) is a GOOD thing.

I did not like the "too transparent" suggestion that seems to lead to the conclusion that it's better to be secretive so you can get away with wrongdoing. Which is where USA seems to be going. No oversight due to never ending secrecy claims.

Now, in this specific case, the revelation had little to do with transparency of that issue but of a mistake regarding government expenditure.

Re:Reveals too much? (1)

Xacid (560407) | about 2 years ago | (#41608779)

Thirded. Came here to say the same thing.

Re:Reveals too much? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41608905)

Thanks for letting us know.

Anyone else come here to say the same thing?

Re:Reveals too much? (1)

Cigarra (652458) | about 2 years ago | (#41609025)

Me, count me too.

Re:Reveals too much? (2)

fisted (2295862) | about 2 years ago | (#41609293)

Well i was gonna tell a story about puppies, actually, but then i realized what i was /really/ trying to say, is the same thing.

Re:Reveals too much? (1)

cjjjer (530715) | about 2 years ago | (#41609467)

Because all the people who modded the post down saw was

Isn't it good that the government

Re:Reveals too much? (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 2 years ago | (#41609537)

So far, there is no evidence of wrongdoing, just that they have, and may have used software for accessing various services used by people to communicate.

A separate investigation would be needed to see if the German police services are using these tools following German laws.

Re:Reveals too much? (1)

Penurious Penguin (2687307) | about 2 years ago | (#41608849)

Yes it is.
Skype is a slattern - and its pimps are voyeurs.
Achtung !

Re:Reveals too much? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41613121)

It's against God's will and Homeland Security's policies. Think of the Chiiildren!

Irony that is (1)

gentryx (759438) | about 2 years ago | (#41614329)

Hello and welcome to the Internet. You must be new here. We here do sometimes happen to speak in strange tongues, sometimes we might even portrait a thing desirable as being appalling. That is a rhetoric trick called irony, sometimes even sarcasm. HTH.

What the author mean to say was this: the government probably did reveal more than they meant to, as spying on their on citizens on a regular basis is so 1984, and no one from 2012 wants to live in a future like that and we'll have elections here in Germany soon, so please move along, we'll spy on nobody from now on, at least not if you're not one of the baddies, yes, we do decide who is bad, yes, all your data will be kept, oops, did we was this aloud?... get it?

HTTPS (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41608539)

Isn't most Google Mail traffic SSL encrypted?

Re:HTTPS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41608661)

I thought it all was. I get redirected when I try to use non-SSL.

On a different note, has anyone else had problems where they log into the main page and then click on a story only to find themselves not logged in?

Re:HTTPS (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41608785)

I have that problem

Re:HTTPS (3, Insightful)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | about 2 years ago | (#41609015)

I thought it all was. I get redirected when I try to use non-SSL.

A smart man-in-the-middle would yank that redirection, and 99% of the users wouldn't notice them missing s after http. Or if the s is there, they would not notice that they are on gooogle.de rather than google.de...

As long as the users rely on redirections for their safety, rather than entering the full URL (including the https part) themselves, they are fair game for men in the middle.

And all this without even installing a Bundestrojaner on the victim's computer...

Re:HTTPS (2)

X0563511 (793323) | about 2 years ago | (#41609107)

A smarter man-in-the-middle would have their own CA in your trust store, so you still get your fancy SSL supposedly pointing to the same site, only singed by TheMan instead.

"Best" of both words - you still get an encrypted session to keep out the non-TheMan snoopers, and TheMan gets to watch you.

Re:HTTPS (2)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | about 2 years ago | (#41609257)

... but if this gets noticed (in the unlikely, but not impossible event where the victim had the Certificate Patrol firefox add-on), then suddenly the CA would have a major PR disaster on its hands.

Whereas a missing redirection to https would be blamed on a glitch in google's servers, or on the phase of the moon...

Just whithness what happened to this infamous Dutch CA, which got hacked, and suddenly had loads of bogus certifcate bearing its signature in circulation...

Smart spooks only risk revealing their power over their national CA when absolutely needed, and use more discrete ways against the small fry.

Re:HTTPS (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | about 2 years ago | (#41609279)

Yes, I do know about load balancing between servers having differing certifcates, and yes, when I first got certificate patrol warnings about changing google certificates I did have a closer look at what was going on...

Re:HTTPS (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 2 years ago | (#41609867)

Was not aware of Certificate Patrol. Sounds useful... will look into that.

There's no PR though in what I'm thinking. All they would have to do is get their own CA trusted by a root trust, (which could have some PR) OR they could simply get their own installed in their target(s) browsers in which point they could issue any SSL cert they wanted without having to involve a third party.

Then, the MITM "proxy" would re-wrap the SSL with their own certificate. Google would be none the wiser, and the end user would be none the wiser if they did not take precautions.

Re:HTTPS (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | about 2 years ago | (#41609967)

All they would have to do is get their own CA trusted by a root trust, (which could have some PR)

... which would indeed be very obvious to Certificate Patrol, and would certainly embarass the "root trust" which certified the rogue CA.

they could simply get their own installed in their target(s) browsers

Sure. That's basically a similar approach to the Bundestrojaner, but instead of installing a keylogger, they would "just" install their rogue root certificate into the victim's browser.

Re:HTTPS (1)

Burz (138833) | about 2 years ago | (#41624169)

Its been while since I used Cert Patrol, but I don't think a user would necessarily realize a MITM was happening because it generates so many alerts for legit/mundane cert changes. I stopped using it around the time I realized the CA trust model is fundamentally broken.

The bogus cert you mention got detected because it went into circulation... But having a CA participate in "lawful intercept" against a handful of targeted individuals at a time (per domain) carries far less risk of being detected.

Re:HTTPS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41615813)

Ore "word":

https://mail.google.com@evilsite.de

Re:HTTPS (1)

Lieutenant_Dan (583843) | about 2 years ago | (#41608677)

Which is useless if the party that wants to monitor you is somewhat sophisticated:
a) they have access to your computer remotely (keylogger, screengrabber, remote desktop, etc)
b) they can make you think you're accessing Google (MITM)

Re:HTTPS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41608797)

Point b is made easier if you have an agreement with the company which is the endpoint of the connection.

By the way, I'd love if Skype (or possibily the German Government?) would give us the code to decrypt the local chat history database, so I could export it and back it up in clear text. Skype will eventually do what all products do, be retired or superseded by a better one and the chat logs are as important to me as my email archive.

Re:HTTPS (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41608721)

Verisign hand out all their certificates to major governments, haven't you heard?

Re:HTTPS (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41608865)

What's funny about this, is that it's not even a paranoid conspiracy theory or some kind of obscure secret. They say they do it. They promise all users that it's guaranteed to be insecure.

Re:HTTPS (2)

cultiv8 (1660093) | about 2 years ago | (#41609621)

It's not just verisign [arstechnica.com] , certificates from any CA can/are being used with the likes of this device [wired.com] .

Re:HTTPS (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#41609027)

Sure, from your browser to Google's server it's encrypted. What about from Google's MTA to the next MTA? Or from that MTA to the one after that? What if the recipient uses plain old POP3 to access the email you sent through GMail using HTTPS?

If your message isn't encrypted end to end, it may as well not be encrypted at all.

Re:HTTPS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41609089)

Until google gives away the CA to their buddies.

news? (1)

zlives (2009072) | about 2 years ago | (#41608547)

how is this news? (tinfoil fully charged)

Re:news? (1)

robinsonne (952701) | about 2 years ago | (#41608895)

Wasn't this already common knowledge several years ago?

Re:news? (1)

rbrausse (1319883) | about 2 years ago | (#41610021)

this is new insofar as it is an official government document. The common knowledge you mentioned was mostly based on (plausible) assumptions and verbal statements of politicians/law-enforcement spokespersons.

Re:news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41616015)

Who says it has to be news, dummy?

It only needs to be something that *still* is a problem, because we haven't moved our lazy asses and *changed it*.

can't make you happy (5, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | about 2 years ago | (#41608557)

lack of transparency: complain about lack of transparency

transparency: complain about what you see

I'd much rather be able to see that my government is doing something I'd like to know more about, than to know that they're hiding something from me that's potentially of interest to me.

Re:can't make you happy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41609145)

But it's not your government, it's theirs.

Re:can't make you happy (1)

infinitelink (963279) | about 2 years ago | (#41613093)

You do realize that "transparency" is so that you can see what they are doing and...complain if they are doing undesirable things, right?

"gone a bit too far"? (3, Insightful)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | about 2 years ago | (#41608561)

I personally would like to know and hold my government responsible for things like this. In theory one might argue that given a sutable warrant it might be perfectly reasonable to monitor someone. The German people have a right to know what their government is doing IMHO.

I guess the culture in Europe vs. the U.S. is probably quite different... But no matter what the reasons transparency is almost always better than the opposite.

Re:"gone a bit too far"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41608637)

I think "gone a bit too far" is a poor choice of words here. This "leak" is exactly the sort of thing that government transparency is supposed to allow. You get a government you can trust once you have the power to kick everyone out, and they have no power to hide what they're doing.

Re:"gone a bit too far"? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41608875)

Indeed, common sense tells me that a government that keeps secrets can't logically be representing the people they keep secrets from -- just as a business contract can't possibly represent both parties' interests when one party refuses to disclose all pertinent information to the other. (As we all know, the relationship between government and citizen is supposedly represented by a contract.)

Searching for details reveals wikileaks (3, Informative)

joeflies (529536) | about 2 years ago | (#41608589)

which seems to have had the details back in 2008. I wasn't aware of something that intercepts skype, but based on the wikileaks article [wikileaks.org] it appears that it works by installing malware on the target's computer.

Pfff, stupid full article. (1)

santax (1541065) | about 2 years ago | (#41608613)

" Further, money is also spent by the ministry on Trojan viruses known as IMSI catchers which are used for "man-in-the-middle" attacks on mobile phones used by German police." So they have implemented a software mobile tower? Don't think so. They are using them on phones used by the German police? Don't think so. Last time I checked, an IMSI catcher was hardware.

Re:Pfff, stupid full article. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41608669)

Thats not what the article says (now).

I'd prefer... (1)

StrayEddy (2650271) | about 2 years ago | (#41608625)

A government that tells me when/where they monitor, than being monitor without knowing.

Re:I'd prefer... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41608735)

I'd actually prefer they not tell me when/where they monitor, but what they monitor. See, there are very bad people in the world who want to kill me and destroy my country. Doesn't matter which country. I want my government to have the ability to monitor them. I want to know the magnitude of the monitoring, so that I know the government is still part of "me and my country" instead of the evil people. However, I don't want the evil people to know when and where they are being monitored.

Re:I'd prefer... (1)

stephanruby (542433) | about 2 years ago | (#41609731)

I want to know the magnitude of the monitoring, so that I know the government is still part of "me and my country" instead of the evil people.

Please stop badmouthing the US. If your country's government is cooperating with us, there are probably good freedom-related reasons they're doing so.

Re:I'd prefer... (4, Insightful)

alexgieg (948359) | about 2 years ago | (#41610683)

See, there are very bad people in the world who want to kill me and destroy my country. Doesn't matter which country.

Wrong. Brazil is one of the largest economies in the world, and a regional power in South America, with influence over all our neighboring countries. But we don't have enemies. Why? Because we mostly keep to ourselves. Our relationship with other countries is one of selling and purchasing, not one of throwing military might around. Truth be told, a few times some more ideologically motivated governments of ours indeed started moving into that direction, but the next one usually defused the situation by reverting the idiot policy, thus bringing back international goodwill. So, although we do have lots of internal social issues, at least one we don't have is the entirely optional one of terrorism, which we avoid by the quite simple expedient of not pissing people off.

What doesn't mean avoiding legitimate wars when they present themselves. The trick here is to not start them. Keeping to oneself does wonders in that regards too. The other country has a dictator you despise? Don't mess there, it isn't your problem. It has a dictator you like who's going to be overthrown? Don't mess there, it isn't your problem. There are troops marching into your borders. Oh, now you go and mess there.

How hard can that be?

Re:I'd prefer... (2)

xaxa (988988) | about 2 years ago | (#41612145)

Wrong. Brazil is one of the largest economies in the world, and a regional power in South America, with influence over all our neighboring countries. But we don't have enemies. Why? Because we mostly keep to ourselves. Our relationship with other countries is one of selling and purchasing, not one of throwing military might around.

That can get difficult -- what do you do when one of your trading partner countries refuses to trade with you, because you refuse to be unfriendly to a country they don't like?

(The potential is there for Brazil regarding the Falkland Isles.)

Re:I'd prefer... (1)

alexgieg (948359) | about 2 years ago | (#41612471)

That can get difficult -- what do you do when one of your trading partner countries refuses to trade with you, because you refuse to be unfriendly to a country they don't like?

Consistency is key. If they know you absolutely will not give up neutrality, they don't try making you give up neutrality, as they know it'll be futile. But even if they decide to stop trading with you, well, you stop trading, all the while keeping diplomatic channels open.

Regarding the Falkland islands, I don't know details on how our diplomacy deal with it, but Argentina is indeed our biggest regional trade partner, and they do have this habit of now and then simply suspending trade while they attempt failed economic policy after failed economic policy. This happens with such a frequency we've become used to it already. Whenever the news reports of some new trade problem with them, we just sigh and shrug it off. So, not a big deal. :)

Re:I'd prefer... (1)

danwiz (538108) | about 2 years ago | (#41612387)

The other country has a dictator you despise? Don't mess there, it isn't your problem. It has a dictator you like who's going to be overthrown? Don't mess there, it isn't your problem. There are troops marching into your borders. Oh, now you go and mess there.

How hard can that be?

I'm all for letting countries stay to themselves, but why does a dictator need to step on your lawn before he gets a response? Didn't most of Europe take that stance during WWII?

Germany annexed Austria, violating the Treaty of Versailles and St. Germain ... no response.
Germany invaded Czechoslovakia ... no response.
Italy conquered Albania ... no response.
Germany attacked Poland ... finally a response! (and 6 years of world war)

Re:I'd prefer... (1)

alexgieg (948359) | about 2 years ago | (#41612517)

I'm all for letting countries stay to themselves, but why does a dictator need to step on your lawn before he gets a response? Didn't most of Europe take that stance during WWII?

There are exceptions to any rule. The problem is when the exception becomes the rule.

Re:I'd prefer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41613157)

You speak Brazilian-Portuguese while your neighbours are Spanish-speaking. This leads one to assume that the neighbours aren't really infringing on Brazilian copyrights. So, it's easy to "keep to yourself". What if there was an ElBahiaPirata.ar in Argentina with Brazil's top artists, tv-shows and movies, all for free to download? Of course Brazil's economic might, and it that doesn't help: military might will be brought to bear!

MOD PARENT +1 NAIVE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41614845)

"But we don't have enemies."

If this were true, Brazil would be truly unique in the entire history of human civilization...

Re:I'd prefer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41617627)

which we avoid by the quite simple expedient of not pissing people off.

Tell that to the country of Spain. They are the closest Western unbelievers to the fundamentalist Muslim countries of North Africa. It makes Spain a whipping boy for every Mullah demanding a jihad against the Christian infidels. Avoiding cultural/economic imperialism will eliminate many of the world's ills. But there will always be war-mongers.

Or rather, they have the ability (3, Insightful)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#41608737)

This is not a direct proof of snooping, just that the German government has the ability to do so. That doesn't necessarily mean that it abuses that power in warrantless monitoring.

Re:Or rather, they have the ability (1)

sociocapitalist (2471722) | about 2 years ago | (#41610163)

This is not a direct proof of snooping, just that the German government has the ability to do so. That doesn't necessarily mean that it abuses that power in warrantless monitoring.

And what?

Even if they don't do it today, they'll do it someday.

Re:Or rather, they have the ability (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#41610975)

As long as they obtain a warranty before doing it i see no problem.

Re:Or rather, they have the ability (1)

sociocapitalist (2471722) | about 2 years ago | (#41617275)

You mean like in the US....where they used to require a warrant but no longer do?

Re:Or rather, they have the ability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41610247)

What about secret warrants or baseless warrants makes you feel better than warrant-less?

Re:Or rather, they have the ability (1)

BitterOak (537666) | about 2 years ago | (#41612197)

This is not a direct proof of snooping, just that the German government has the ability to do so.

That's even more significant, because if the German government has the ability to do so, who else does? It means that SSL and the Skype protocols are not nearly as secure as one might have thought. That's much bigger news than the fact that the Germans might be spying on a few of their citizens. (Unless you happen to be German, in which case that too is a really big deal.)

Re:Or rather, they have the ability (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#41612481)

I don't think they cracked SSL, rather they plant a trojan on target machines.

Re:Or rather, they have the ability (1)

Plumpaquatsch (2701653) | about 2 years ago | (#41616747)

I don't think they cracked SSL, rather they plant a trojan on target machines.

The item on the list reads "Software to decode recorded telecommunications: Google Mail, MSN Hotmail, Yahoo Mail" (2 identical items with different price actually)

Re:Or rather, they have the ability (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41613755)

This is the same German government that a few years ago was complaining that Skype was too hard to monitor, right? Now Microsoft owns them and I seem to notice that monitoring Skype seems to no longer be a challenge.

Next question: which particular slimy nation-state put MS up to buying Skype so they could wreck a perfectly good security system?

Isn't there a word for corporations and governments acting together for common goals? Starts with an "f" I think...

Re:Or rather, they have the ability (1)

ax_42 (470562) | about 2 years ago | (#41616369)

This is not a direct proof of snooping, just that the German government has the ability to do so. That doesn't necessarily mean that it abuses that power in warrantless monitoring.

So, let's ask them for details on what they have been doing. Queue response: "National Security! We can't tell you!" sotto voce "Monitor him, he's asking questions".

you know who else... (4, Funny)

HPHatecraft (2748003) | about 2 years ago | (#41608747)

you know who else was... wait. You said "Germany" right?

mo3 up (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41608813)

a product1vitY sanctions, and

Surprised? (5, Insightful)

mholve (1101) | about 2 years ago | (#41608939)

I'm not. Any modern government (law enforcement or intelligence agencies) would or at least should have this capability. The real question is, do they use it without warrants, use it in an indiscriminant fashion, etc. If they were going after a legitimate suspect, they should have the capability to do so.

Re:Surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41611425)

+1. Of course they'd use software to make their life easier. After all, intercepting communication is legal if a warrant is obtained, so you'd want to present the stream of emails etc. in that case as easy to read as possible. It's not like Germany has a system like Echelon that intercepts communication pretty much indiscriminately (and which certainly uses much more elaborate software than the one discussed here).

Re:Surprised? (1)

BitterOak (537666) | about 2 years ago | (#41612211)

I'm not. Any modern government (law enforcement or intelligence agencies) would or at least should have this capability.

Really? Because saying they should have this capability is equivalent to saying we shouldn't be using strong, effective encryption.

Re:Surprised? (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about 2 years ago | (#41618321)

I'm not. Any modern government (law enforcement or intelligence agencies) would or at least should have this capability.

Really? Because saying they should have this capability is equivalent to saying we shouldn't be using strong, effective encryption.

National security trumps your ability to keep your Skype conversations absolutely private. Sorry, but what else do you expect?

Good job Germany... (1, Flamebait)

Valor958 (2724297) | about 2 years ago | (#41608985)

Way to set back your government back a generation.
I'm sure references are bound to be made towards Facsism, etc etc... but frankly... it just reinforces a bad stigma against Germany after all the bad thoughts already in place over the past 100 years.
Really though, I'm sure the US does this, but just isn't quite 'that' transparent yet.

Re:Good job Germany... (4, Insightful)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about 2 years ago | (#41609887)

I'm not sure what you mean. Don't kid yourself. Germany isn't the only one monitoring the communications of its citizens. In reality, it would be easier to come up with a list of countries that do NOT monitor. On that very, very short list you should not be surprised when you note the absence of the first world nations, nor that it is comprised almost entirely of third-world nations. The fact that Germany actually openly admits it is a feather in their cap. Everyone does it, Germany just has the decency to be forthright about it.

Re:Good job Germany... (0, Troll)

Max_W (812974) | about 2 years ago | (#41610141)

Countries or governments do not monitor. These are people who monitor other people.

Re:Good job Germany... (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about 2 years ago | (#41610335)

And so a pedantic twit get's to put another notch on his belt...

Re:Good job Germany... (0)

Max_W (812974) | about 2 years ago | (#41611759)

It is the same with "saving the planet". We are to save human society, the planet and life will go on in any case. It is always about people.

Re:Good job Germany... (0)

ax_42 (470562) | about 2 years ago | (#41616379)

And so a pedantic twit get's to put another notch on his belt...

Try being pedantic yourself -- it's "gets". Apostrophes aren't just random little pre-s symbols you know.

Re:Good job Germany... (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about 2 years ago | (#41618405)

And so a pedantic twit get's to put another notch on his belt...

Try being pedantic yourself -- it's "gets". Apostrophes aren't just random little pre-s symbols you know.

There's a difference between making a small grammatical mistake like the GP and talking utter bollocks like the GGP.

Re:Good job Germany... (2)

tehcyder (746570) | about 2 years ago | (#41618361)

Countries or governments do not monitor. These are people who monitor other people.

No these are people acting as representatives of the government, which is in itself a representative of the people of that country.

I've seen this ultra-individualistic lpseudo-libertarian crap before on slashdot before. So, for example, that's not a US soldier shootinga member of al Qaeda, they're just two guys having a mano a mano fight with no need for The Government to be involved or even exist. It's stupid.

Re:Good job Germany... (1)

Max_W (812974) | about 2 years ago | (#41618625)

What I meant is that information from monitoring is collected and reviewed by certain people. Yes, they work for a government, but people do wear a lot of caps.

For example, we know of an extreme case, when a military officer send a CD with a sensitive information to WikiLeaks.org

But the same may happen with one's data from monitoring. It can be sent not only to a government via an official channel, but to a local mob, to political extremists, it can get just to a crazy person from physical people, who do happen to work for the government.

This is the problem.

Re:Good job Germany... (1)

ax_42 (470562) | about 2 years ago | (#41616387)

The fact that Germany actually openly admits it is a feather in their cap. Everyone does it, Germany just has the decency to be forthright about it.

I don't think Germany openly admitted it -- more likely they forgot to suppress it.

Re:Good job Germany... (1)

Valor958 (2724297) | about 2 years ago | (#41611317)

I think it's kind of funny I got modded flamebait when the only part of my post which was negative was the shot at Germany in the first line. I'll admit, that was intentional.
The rest was actually explaining that we shouldn't be surprised to see REAL flamebait and Nazi references since this is a critical report on Germany.

I'm also quite aware that we're all monitored probably much more than we'd like or be even remotely comfortable with if we really knew.

You don't actually think that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41609539)

You don't actually think that the western nations are able thwart would be terrorists if they followed privacy laws, do you? It's a give and take, I know, but I have to wonder if we are going to arrive at an Orwellian dystopia in a few generations.

Which begs the question: how less tragic would it be if we gradually became Orwellian in 60 years verses waking up tomorrow to a tyrannical, oppressive Orwellian society???? Funking scary.

If there are warrant what's the problem ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41610221)

If there is a warrant for every capture of chat/call , where is the problem ? Anybody thinking there is not such a tool available from law enforcement , is fooling themselves.

E-mail was never secure or reliable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41610275)

E-mail standards and specs don't have anything in the initial design for security or privacy of messages. Almost none of the e-mail servers encrypt the communication channel during the relay of a message from server to server. It's like sending a post card is how I explain it to people.

E-mail also is a best effort delivery mechanism with no promise it is ever received.

Just because they have the s/w ! = using it (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 2 years ago | (#41610673)

Just because they have the software, some of which is used to send secure encrypted Skype and decode it on the other end, does not mean they're using it on you.

Now put some underwear on.

I mean, seriously, that's just gross.

Re:Just because they have the s/w ! = using it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41616817)

How can these Facebook-using rodents be so naive? Often I find myself thinking they deserve what's coming. Too bad they fuck us all in the process.

Just like because a dog can lick its balls doesn't mean it does it... wait but it actually does!

Just Spend 6 Years in China (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41613231)

Im hardened by Chinese Surviliance. Good thing is that old habits die hard and that i assume that germany is by far less technical capable then China.

So i guess QQ (chinese IM) is now the safest IM around....funny how things change.

For extra hilarity (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | about 2 years ago | (#41613449)

Meanwhile, the German federal consumer protection minister is widely known for criticizing Facebook's poor record on privacy.
She's right, mind you, but it's still funny.

People seem to be systematically blind to threats from the public or private sector, depending on political affiliation. Right-wing Americans chiefly fear their own government, not caring what corporations might do with their data. In comparatively liberal Germany, the untechnical mainstream froths at the thought of Google showing a publically taken anonymous photograph of their house, while ignoring police monitoring or hailing internet censorship "for the children".

Well that about wraps it up for Skype (1)

Trogre (513942) | about 2 years ago | (#41614803)

Now how are those alternative VOIP/Video clients coming along?

Cheap! (1)

aggemam (641831) | about 2 years ago | (#41615229)

Not too expensive, this decoding software of theirs.

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