A hacking group in Germany, 'Chaos Computer Club' released some info concerning a trojan that they say has been gathering info on computers- tracking activity on chat programs and even able to look into audio from skype calls. The CCC released a report on the code of the trojan, as well as the source code of the trojan highlighting parts of the code that gathers the data.
The group released the information to some media outlets and journalists in Germany to see if the government or someone within the government would come forward and acknowledge the existence of the network.
Indeed they did get it. Bavarian interior minister Joachim Herrmann has confirmed Bavaria's use of the program, though says that they acted within the boundaries of the law and hasn't done anything wrong. The federal government in Germany has denied the use of the program their level and has promised a review of it.
The problem with this program is that it has functionality which exceeds the limits that were set by the constitutional court a couple of years ago. The program is also insecure and can be highjacked, which contradicts assurances that were made to the public when the idea of using governmental spyware was discussed.
Voice of joy and sunshine
26th May 2003
I thought all governments did this. I was under the impression that was a large part of the reason WHY there were regional versions of software - so the government could load their spyware shit onto your system.
Really, any government that says they're not doing something and doesn't give you any practical idea how to check.... Well that they're even denying it means there's enough of a motive for them to be doing it. Just makes them look damn suspicious.
Three more state governments- Baden-Wurttemberg, Brandenburg and Lower Saxony have come out stating they have used the program. The federal government however denies any use of if at their level still.
With regards to the constitutional rights MCP mentioned, there's a story about that court decision here.