Posted 4 years ago ago by admin
A new law allowing the German police to hack into mobile phones for even minor crimes, is expected to be passed by the German parliament this week.
Currently, the use of a “Staatstrojaner” – government trojan – is only permitted in order to prevent future terrorist attacks. Under the new law, the authorities will be allowed to implant surveillance malware to help secure convictions for over 70 types of crime. These include serious ones such as genocide, treason and murder, but also less serious crimes such as money counterfeiting, vehicle theft, computer fraud, rigged sports betting and tax evasion. Two kinds of trojans will be available. The first allows the authorities to eavesdrop on calls made with the mobile phone, whether using standard telephony or VoIP, while the second gives access to all information held on the device.
In any case, it is certainly true that more and more governments around the world are looking to use malware to obtain information. Spanish police have had this capability since 2015; the UK’s highly-intrusive Investigatory Powers Act includes generic “equipment interference” powers that allow the police and intelligence agencies to hack into systems using malware. Just recently, it was revealed that the Mexican government has been using malware to spy on journalists, activists and anti-corruption groups.