German Authorities Raiding Homes To Find Skype Tapping Whistleblower

from the drawing-more-attention... dept

Apparently a whistleblower recently leaked some evidence that German authorities were using a special trojan horse software to tap Skype audio conversations. The document detailing this was leaked to the German Pirate Party, one of many international "Pirate Parties" that have been formed in recent years to push for more reasonable government policies on a variety of fronts from intellectual property to privacy and government surveillance. Illegally tapping Skype conversations may be illegal, but it seems that German authorities are a lot more interested in tracking down who leaked the documents and have raided the homes of various German Pirate Party members, confiscating computer equipment. Of course, if anything, this would seem to confirm that the government was at least experimenting with, if not actively using, such a trojan horse wiretapping program -- and the raids have only served to generate much more attention over that fact.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    DS78, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 5:02am

    And "they" say...

    that democracy is dead.

     

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    identicon
    Shohat, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 5:12am

    Ahem

    These are not global/randomly installed Trojan horses to wiretap civilians. Germany isn't exactly the US.
    The THs were used just like regular "bugs" and wiretapping is used to gather evidence on suspected criminals. Not nescesarily illegal or evil or Big brother thing.

     

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    Overcast, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 6:17am

    The THs were used just like regular "bugs" and wiretapping is used to gather evidence on suspected criminals. Not nescesarily illegal or evil or Big brother thing.


    And if the laws change and other things become illegal - well, you may find that you are a criminal as well. Heck, in the 40's in Germany, it was illegal to marry a Jew.

    Just stating a fact, that's all.

     

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      identicon
      Shohat, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 6:27am

      To Overcast

      Your statement will remain true regardless of what is the subject. I agree with it globally, but it is not relevant to ANY subject.

      You might as well say it about prisons, the codex of laws, etc...

      If one day farting is outlawed, you might find yourself in prison for farting. Doesn't mean we should abolish prisons now.

       

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    identicon
    angry dude, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 6:27am

    Mikey for Pirate Party Leader !

    Seriously, sounds like a good start of a political career for Mikey
    Hey, Mikey can even run for Prez as a party leader and get support from all those techdirt lemming punks

    Mikey for Prez !

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 6:40am

      Re: Mikey for Pirate Party Leader !

      Hey Angry Dude,
      You're that NeoconBushSupporter dude aren't ya ?

       

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      •  
        identicon
        *angry dude, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 7:28am

        Re: Re: Mikey for Pirate Party Leader !

        Please don't reply to my rant script, I know at times it may appear intelligent, but in reality it could never pass the Turing test.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Don, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 6:47am

    WireTapping

    Government by it's nature will always push for more control. If we don't push back constantly we, the public, will be 'regulated' and 'securitized' until we can not move. The congress passed 3211 laws in the last session, which one are you breaking right now?

     

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    identicon
    Brandon, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 7:05am

    Sounds like...

    Someone was running Windows...

     

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    identicon
    NeoConBushSupporter, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 10:20am

    I just want to know

    Do the german officials paint anything on the doors of these "Pirate Party" members before they barge in and take thier property? You know, some kind of symbol, so that everyone will know what type of person lives there?


    VOTE McCain 2008 - Change your familiar with.

     

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    identicon
    dave, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 1:23pm

    I think you misunderstand

    This article is about the German gov't searching for the person who 'outed' their capability of wiretapping Skype calls. It's not about something truly confidential, such as the gov't wiretapping person A, but that they actually could wiretap Skype calls now, as well as regular hardwired phones and cell phones.

    This is a "we must find and shoot the messenger to dissuade others from being messengers in the future" type of thing.

     

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    identicon
    bikey, Sep 19th, 2008 @ 5:52am

    skype

    What's interesting about this is that the link between IP (i.e. industrial countries' last link to the world economy, especially now that the financial services sector has collapsed) and illegal government (increasingly doing the IP industry's dirty work) surveillance is finally becoming clear. How and why they get to your computer, and what they are bound to find there (infringement of someone's IP no matter who you are) should frighten everyone with a pulse.

     

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    identicon
    ruined, Jan 15th, 2009 @ 5:33pm

    So much for that democracy

     

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    identicon
    Henrik R Clausen, Jan 23rd, 2009 @ 4:54am

    They may be collecting names of Israel-supporters

    An unsourced contact told me that the German police is also collecting names, email addresses etc. of people who sign pro-Israel petitions on the Internet.

    Now tell me how that, in essense, differs from German police collecting information on people doing business with Jews in the 1930's?

    But I'm glad to see that Skype encryption as such apparently has not been compromised.

     

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      Anon-7 (profile), Dec 15th, 2009 @ 3:42pm

      Re: They may be collecting names of Israel-supporters

      Although the Skype™ data streams are encrypted with a proprietary algorithm, preventing anyone from listening in on Skype-to-Skype or Skype-to-land line conversations (except for the last leg from the telephone central office to a caller's telephone), it is reported that the police in The Netherlands and in Austria have the ability to listen in on Skype calls at will. If they can do it, presumably police and government snoops around the world can do it, too. Whether you talk on a land line, a cell phone or a Skype connection, you should assume that someone can listen in and that someone is listening in.

      J. Edgar Hoover, the late former director of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is credited with saying, "If you don't want it known, don't use the phone."

       

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  •  
    identicon
    David, Feb 12th, 2009 @ 9:10am

    So... is your "UNSOURCED" contact a 10 year old prankster boy? Or was it a 64 year old retired man with too much free time printing conspiracy theories?

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Sacha, Feb 24th, 2009 @ 2:37am

      Re: conspiracy theory

      I'ld bet on the 10 year old. Conspiracy theories usually don't support the idea that Jews may be victims. They make sure Jews are victims in the end.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Sydney, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 2:13am

    Real Estate Search

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Sydney, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 2:16am

      Re: Real Estate Search

      Yeah, really good! I am totally agreed with this article it's a good time to purchase a home because the recession period is going on and the rates of a house is little bit low so we can say that it's a real time and the property sellers are also hunger for selling so i think we should not miss the best opportunity. This article is about the German gov't searching for the person who 'outed' their capability of wiretapping Skype calls. It's not about something truly confidential, such as the gov't wiretapping person A, but that they actually could wiretap Skype calls now, as well as regular hardwired phones and cell phones.
      I won't miss this better opportunity. Great post i look forward to reading more!

      Sydney
      Real Estate Search

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Sydney, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 2:15am

    Real Estate Search

    Yeah, really good! I am totally agreed with this article it's a good time to purchase a home because the recession period is going on and the rates of a house is little bit low so we can say that it's a real time and the property sellers are also hunger for selling so i think we should not miss the best opportunity. This article is about the German gov't searching for the person who 'outed' their capability of wiretapping Skype calls. It's not about something truly confidential, such as the gov't wiretapping person A, but that they actually could wiretap Skype calls now, as well as regular hardwired phones and cell phones. I won't miss this better opportunity. Great post i look forward to reading more! Sydney Real Estate Search

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    foobar, Mar 15th, 2009 @ 4:41am

    skype should provide 1024 bit RSA/PGP encryption, and then who cares about a wiretap?

     

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    icon
    Phil Cooper (profile), Dec 15th, 2009 @ 3:15pm

    Rather heavy-handed

    Raiding people's homes seems a rather heavy-handed way to handle this situation. Once information has flown the coop and has been spread on the Internet, it's a lost cause, anyway. The recent "Climategate scandal" perfectly serves to illustrate this point.

    So, what's the big deal with monitoring Skype traffic? We keep hearing rumours about ECHELON being able to sift through millions of phone calls and emails, both domestic and international, and the system has been doing so for over a decade. Big Brother is watching. If George Orwell only knew ...

     

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