European Data Protection Digest

Authorities' Use of Spyware Spurs Outcry

ONLINE PRIVACY—GERMANY

October 28, 2011

An investigation by a hacker group has focused on the use of spyware by authorities in numerous German states, and while Internet telephone monitoring is allowed under German law, "it has emerged that software deployed by some law enforcement agencies was capable of much more intrusive snooping," GlobalPost reports. In the wake of the announcement and analysis by a security firm, some--including Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger--are calling for a closer look into the matter. While officials have stated the use of the spyware has been legal, Data Protection Commissioner Peter Schaar is voicing concerns about the legal "gray area" surrounding the use of such technology.
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