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German Police, Big Brother on Skype, Hotmail, GMail and Facebook

German Police are allegedly monitoring Skype, GMail, MSN Hotmail and Facebook chat, according to a report detailing the Federal Ministry of Home Affairs’ expenses.  Since 2002, more than 7 million euros has been spent on external service providers for border control biometrics, passenger information systems, and telecommunications surveillance.

“Money is spent on Trojan viruses and we can be quite certain which company produces the IMSI catchers used by German police,” said blogger Anna Roth, who first discovered the evidence of intercepting. “Altogether more than a billion euro was spent on private services by German police and other public authorities in the realm of the ministry of home affairs in the years 2002 – 2012.”

One of Germany’s regular contractors was Digitask, which supplied and installed “capture units,” often on a rental basis. Under contract from law-enforcement, the software company is also known for developing a Trojan a couple of years ago to spy on a man accused of trading narcotics. The malware was also able to install backdoors and keyloggers on targeted computers.

Authorities pay 15,000 euro to lease a Digitask surveillance Trojan for 3 months, or 200,000 euro for the annual license, according to the report. German police have also paid for “clandestine radio equipment,” micro-cameras, and forensic software. The report also included classified information about Germany’s domestic and foreign intelligence services and the Federal Office for Information Security.

About the author


Bianca Stanescu, the fiercest warrior princess in the Bitdefender news palace, is a down-to-earth journalist, who's always on to a cybertrendy story. She's the industry news guru, who'll always keep a close eye on the AV movers and shakers and report their deeds from a fresh new perspective. Proud mother of one, she covers parental control topics, with a view to valiantly cutting a safe path for children through the Internet thicket. She likes to let words and facts speak for themselves.

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