by Mike Masnick
Wed, Feb 27th 2008 2:14pm
The German government has been pushing for the ability to spy on computers of suspected criminals and terrorists. A little over a year ago, a court came down firmly against a proposal to allow German authorities to use spyware on computers of suspected criminals to gather information. Now another German court has ruled on a similar issue, noting that using surveillance systems to spy on personal computers would be a violation of privacy rights. While German authorities are already complaining about how this will make it difficult for them to catch criminals and terrorists, it sounds like they are overreacting. Courts will still be able to approve such surveillance if authorities can show evidence of why the surveillance is needed. This seems completely reasonable, as laws shouldn't be made solely to make it easy to catch criminals. They should be made to protect the rights of individuals. When those two things come into conflict, the rights of individuals should prevail.
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