Secret Government Conference For Spying Says Go Stealth, Hit A Hundred Thousand Targets

Friday, November 11, 2011
By Paul Martin

By Ms. Smith
NetworkWorld.com

Forget passive monitoring for government spying; go stealth to hit your target says the Hacking Team which sells hacking techniques and tools for invasive surveillance of the masses. Better yet, hit a hundred thousand targets. [1] We looked at legal means, with a Trojan horse warrant [2] for remote computer searches [3]. But what about those areas of mass surveillance without a warrant that seem shaded grey and lawfully questionable to many of us concerned about privacy? There are interesting conferences in which the doors are locked to Joe and Jane Doe, but thrown wide open for intelligence agencies and law enforcement. So what goes on behind those doors that are shut to the general public? IIS World Americas [4] is open only to “law enforcement, intelligence, homeland security analysts and telecom operators responsible for lawful interception, electronic investigations and network intelligence.” There are many vendors of products that assist the government in spying [5], but the Hacking Team should send an eerie eavesdropping chill up your spine.

As the Police once sang [6], “Every breath you take and every move you make…I’ll be watching you,” and that seems to sum up the Italian Hacking Team services and what it pimps at Intelligence Support Systems (ISS) conferences [7]. While there are many vendors at such conferences offered worldwide and allegedly for “lawful interception, criminal investigation and intelligence gathering,” some stand out as ethically and legally questionable. We know cyber cops need ways to go after the evil cybercriminal elements hiding in cyberspace, but it’s the “mass surveillance” and “without a warrant” that sets our privacy hackles on edge as that seems to assume anyone may be a bad guy needing monitored.

According to the spy-conference brochure [PDF [8]], the Hacking Team Cyber Intelligence solutions include remote control systems that offer “total invisibility” and “total control over desktops and smartphones” as well as “the widest selection of infection vectors” and “easy installation on target devices.” According to the company’s brochure [1] [PDF], different tools promise to “bypasses protection systems such as antivirus, antispyware and personal firewalls.” The Hacking Team [9] website proudly proclaims a wide variety of extra creepy and invasive surveillance tools for Big Brother:

The Rest…HERE

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