German police plans to use Gamma FinFisher spyware

January 16, 2013

Categories: Old News

Source: Andre Meister, Netzpolitik

The German Federal Police office has purchased the commercial Spyware toolkit FinFisher of Eleman/Gamma Group. This is revealed by a secret document of the Ministry of the Interior, which we are publishing exclusively. Instead of legitimizing products used by authoritarian regimes for the violation of human rights, the German state should restrict the export of such state malware.

In October 2011, German hacker organization Chaos Computer Club (CCC) analyzed a malware used by German government authorities. The product of the German company DigiTask was not just programmed badly and lacking elementary security, it was in breach of German law. In a landmark case, the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany ruled in 2008 that surveillance software targeting telecommunications must be technologically limited to a specific task. Instead, the CCC found that the DigiTask software took over the entire computer and included the option to remotely add features, thereby clearly violating the court ruling.

Since then, many German authorities have stopped using DigiTask spyware and started to create their own state malware. For this task, a “Center of Competence for Information Technology Surveillance (CC ITÜ)” was established, sporting a three million Euro budget and a team of 30 people.

For the full article, see here.

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