Bloomberg reports on software being used by the German government that may be illegal:
The German government is using spying software that violates the country’s constitutional law because it contains functions beyond the interception of Internet-based communication, a hacker organization said.
The malware, once installed on a computer, can receive software and remotely execute it, the Chaos Computer Club said. It can also be used to control hardware such as microphones and cameras for room surveillance as well as upload falsified evidence to the target hard drive, said Hamburg-based CCC, which calls itself Europe’s largest hacker group.
The Federal Interior Ministry and its units did not employ the software examined by the CCC, ministry spokesman Markus Beyer said at a routine press conference today in Berlin. […]
In 2008, Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court ruled that the secret infiltration of information technology systems is a grave encroachment on civil rights and can only be justified in some criminal investigations. The court laid out strict legal limitations for such probes.
“This refutes the claim that an effective separation of just wiretapping Internet technology and a full-blown trojan is possible in practice — or even desired,” the hacker club said. “Functions clearly intended for breaking the law were implemented in this malware.” […]
The German government takes allegations about illegal surveillance software used by investigative authorities “very seriously” and will examine the claims at every level of its operations, chief government spokesman Steffen Seibert said at the same press conference today. […]
The Free Democratic Party, coalition partner of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Party, called yesterday for an investigation and a ban on the use of the software until the allegations are cleared.