Technologies of control

POWER!
Creative Commons License photo credit: fatbwoy

Lest we forget technology is as much about control as it is innovation, check out this article on TorrentFreak about the state sponsored trojans used to tap Skype calls. The other side of the Gothic and horrific when it comes to the web has as much more to do with centralized control and power then the omnipresent tales of the lone wolf, psychopath predator. What makes it scarier is that we provide the framework and funds through which they control us!

The article below is republished in its entirety from TorrentFreak.

The spokesperson of the German Pirate Party saw his house raided after the party published a leaked document which showed that the government uses a homemade “trojan” to wiretap Skype conversations. In addition, a server from another party member was seized.

pirate party germanyThe Pirate Party is known for it’s battle against the ever increasing government surveillance on the public. So, when an anonymous whistleblower sent them a internal document which showed that the government went as far as installing trojans on computers, they didn’t hesitate to publish it.

German authorities weren’t too happy about the leak, which might be illegal according to a criminal law specialist, and went after the source. Earlier this week police searched the home of the Pirate Party spokesperson where they hoped to find more information. In addition to the home search, a server from another party member was seized. The server, however, was fully encrypted, so chances are low that it will uncover the whistleblower.

In a response, Andreas Popp, Chairman of the Bavarian Pirate Party said: “A brave person leaks documents to the Pirate Party, to inform the public about a procedure of the Bavarian Government, which is highly likely to violate the constitution. Now this persons is hunted like a criminal. Private rooms are raided, servers get seized.”

Pirate Parties around the world will continue to speak out against these, and other privacy threats. The trojan in question (German) was able to tap into Skype calls and intercept traffic to encrypted websites.

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3 Responses to Technologies of control

  1. Cash Nelson says:

    This is one of the scarier articles I have read in a while. It really makes you wonder how much of our life is really being watched. Skype conversations…is nothing sacred?! Winston Smith may have loved Big Brother, but I certainly don’t.

  2. Christian says:

    Its worse than this article by the Piraten Partei might indicate, last year our fabulous Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble who seems to be haunted by ghosts came up with a fantastic idea: The Federal Trojan.

    The German Constitutional Court tries to counter this but most Germans (me included) dont think that we can stop Schäuble in doing this. As it seems, the Trojan is already in use and was before it was officially announced. Thats why Schäuble is now called Stasi 2.0

    Of course they have the same bad excuse US politicians use as well: Counter terrorism. How ingenious…

  3. Reverend says:

    @Nash:

    Orwell is the perfect frame here, and scary is definitely the keyword.

    @Christian:
    Wow, an inside and informed view. I’m both glad and sad you bailed me out here. I was thinking this article might be percieved as far too one-sided in the “paranoia” department, I’m now even more concerned that it might be downplaying the issue. And the fact that it is happening in Germany, is pretty much an indicator that it’s happening most places. “Stasi 2.0” that’s a powerful play with what is often an idealistic meme, I kind of like it because it brings the questions of what is at stake with us online sharing—others have access to what we do. And, ironically, it is the sharing that scares those in power. It is no coincidence I got this information from a site that covers bitTorrent, for they are in many ways at the front lines when it comes to questions of rights, constitutionality, and ownership of our cultural heritage.

    As for the terrorism banner, it has set us back in regards to civil liberties about two hundred and thirty years. Nothing like an enemy you can’t see or name or even imagine. Just a shadow in the tubes, the perfect metaphor for the online world of control in my mind, funny how the two coincide.

    Thanks for the awesome comment, Christian.

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