Hundreds of Police Agencies distributing spyware and keystroke loggerrealized (2472730) writes "For years, local law enforcement agencies around the country have told parents that installing ComputerCOP software is the “first step” in protecting their children online.
As official as it looks,ComputerCOP is actually just spyware, generally bought in bulk from a New York company that appears to do nothing but market this software to local government agencies.
The way ComputerCOP works is neither safe nor secure. It isn’t particularly effective either, except for generating positive PR for the law enforcement agencies distributing it. As security software goes, we observed a product with a keystroke-capturing function, also called a “keylogger,” that could place a family’s personal information at extreme risk by transmitting what a user types over the Internet to third-party servers without encryption.
EFF conducted a security review of ComputerCOP while also following the paper trail of public records to see how widely the software has spread. Based on ComputerCOP’s own marketing information, we identified approximately 245 agencies in more than 35 states, plus the U.S. Marshals, that have used public funds (often the proceeds from property seized during criminal investigations) to purchase and distribute ComputerCOP. One sheriff’s department even bought a copy for every family in its county.
Some of the agencies that have used it include U.S. Marshals — Under Director John Clark, Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office gave out the program for "free" to 6,700 foster parents, Riverside County District Attorney's Office, San Diego County District Attorney's Office, Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office,
Complete list of agencies that use the software compiled by the eff click here"