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Germany wants to email spyware to terror suspects

Could this daft plan really work?
Sun Sep 02 2007, 13:08
GERMAN GOVERNMENT plods are asking to be allowed to email Trojan horse spyware to terrorist suspects in order to surrepticiously monitor their Internet use and inspect their computer hard drives remotely, the Associated Press reports.

Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble proposes to include this authorisation in a security law now under consideration in the German parliament.

The spyware would be hidden in emails appearing to have been sent from other, seemingly innocuous government agencies such as the Finance Ministry or Youth Services Office.

The measure is being proposed because Germany's Federal Court of Justice in February rejected prosecutors' earlier plans to search suspects' computers remotely over the Internet.

Prosecutors had argued that such invasive remote investigation should be permitted because it was analogous to telephone surveillance or other forms of electronic eavesdropping, but the German court didn't buy that, prohibiting the practice because there was no law that specifically permitted such monitoring.

Do German gumshoes believe that real terrorists won't have capable antivirus and antispyware software installed? One can imagine they'll probably be immune anyway, because they're likely already running OS/X, BSD or Linux. µ

San Jose Mercury News


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