Federal trojan: who controls the investigators??

Interior Ministry and BKA Deny Chaos Computer Club’s Accusations; Politicians React Appeasingly

Who controls the means used by the police?? And how great is the political will to do so?? The discovery of the surveillance software is not an isolated case, CCC spokesman Frank Rosengart said in a radio interview this morning. The Trojan, which was found on several hard drives (CCC exposes federal Trojan and security policy), had been used in several traps and was probably used nationwide, which is why one "can speak with a clear conscience of a federal Trojan horse".

It is not possible to say whether the programs were used by the police in the full extent of their possibilities. This needs to be tested. It is clear from the analysis of the government Trojan that it can do far more than the law allows. Was "in the unobtrusive neologism" (CCC) Source telecommunication surveillance is a spy software that allows live observation of the computer user, remote control of the computer, manipulation of records, documents, e-mails, and also the intervention of a third party.

The investigated Trojans are not only able to leak highly intimate data, but also offer a remote control function for loading and exporting any other malicious software. Due to gross design and implementation errors, there are also glaring security gaps in the infiltrated computers, which third parties can also exploit.

The spokesman for the CCC was very open about how the police actually dealt with these possibilities. Is it possible that the manufacturer of the software has installed the possibilities, which are partly available through disguised programs, without the police being aware of it?? The fact that they only "tolerates", but did not apply? Hardly imaginable. This is exactly what needs to be investigated now.

the confidence that investigators would follow legal guidelines in investigations could not be too rough. case in Suddeutschland confirmed in recent times (More "Gratitude" against the "Super Police") both the distrust of police practices and the will to cover-up on the part of political representatives and the public prosecutor’s office. In this respect, the denial of the Ministry of Interior and the BKA is a risky undertaking.

The Federal Criminal Police Office has published a report in today’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung by the "Chaos Computer Club" (CCC), the so-called Trojans are not used to put out fires. Whatever the CCC may have investigated or been leaked, it is not a so-called federal Trojan horse.

But what if it turns out, as the CCC claims, that the sniffing software is not officially labeled as a federal Trojan, but is used that way in practice?? There is already talk of an Info-GAU with "profound inevitable political consequences" (Dietmar Dath). The chairman of the Interior Committee of the German Bundestag, Wolfgang Bosbach (CDU), speaks of a "serious accusation".

He’s not the only politician not ruthless about the severity of the accusations: Efforts are made to limit the damage – but also, as in Bosbach’s case, to conceal essentials: Statements that indicate that police work needs to be more tightly controlled, that there may be free play areas there that don’t care about limits that are clearly set by the catch.

Bosbach tries the counterattack instead: "One must not accuse the authorities of such massive actions without being very specific." The CCC has to back this up with facts – as if their members, who know a lot more about software than the domestic policy expert, were not aware of what they had unleashed on Sunday with their publications.

Bosbach was concerned not about the means and possibilities of state security services, but about the reaction of the Federal Minister of Justice, Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, who had placed herself on the side of fundamental rights:

It is more than disturbing that the justified technical arguments of the complainants in the lawsuit against online searches before the Federal Constitutional Court are now confirmed. If the specifications of the Federal Constitutional Court are not observed in practice by the technology, the confidence of the burghers disappears.

The Minister of Justice demands then also logically "Investigations in the individual federal states, whose investigative work has come under suspicion as a result of the CCC’s discoveries". Bosbach is aiming at something completely different: The Internet is increasingly becoming a crime scene "and also on the means", the interior politician spoke, once again pointing out that the state cannot do without technical means to "to collect evidence on the Internet for the prevention and detection of the most serious crimes". As if it was about that – and not about the accusation that authorities had installed programs on computers that went far beyond what was legally permitted and constituted a violation of the Basic Law. In this respect one had to speak rather of the fact that now the police authorities have made the Internet a crime scene with the federal Trojan horse.

This violation of basic law is anything but harmless. To minimize them or to relativize them by referring to a weak state in the fight against crime betrays ignorance. After all, it is about the self-protection of the burgher, who with such means, which the fewest can recognize, "is eliminated", as emphasized by former federal trial judge Wolfgang Hoffmann-Riehm.

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