Freely translated from the german news release of the Digitale Gesellschaft e.V. (Digital Society)
German Statement of the Digital Society
On June 10th 2021 the governing coalition will pass a law that allows german intelligence agencies to use a trojan software (called Staatstrojaner (Statetrojan)) on its citizens without the need to be under strong suspicion.
The planned law significantly expands the surveillance powers of the German intelligence services. Despite almost unanimous criticism from experts and considerable doubts about its constitutionality, the coalition seems determined to pass the law. This law not only mobilized the Digital Society and the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) but also Facebook & Google (german statement), who all fear that the expansion of Article 10 could force communications service providers to limit the security and integrity of their own services to help intelligence agencies spy. This reaches as far as being obligated to transfer “software-updates” through the german intelligence agencies in order for them to integrate trojan software.
The focus of criticism is the authority to use the so called State-Trojans for the purpose of source telecommunication surveillance, with which in particular also stored encrypted communication directly on the end devices of the users is to be diverted and monitored. Not only are ongoing communications to be monitored, but in some cases stored messages are also to be accessed retroactively. This not only represents a significant encroachment on the fundamental rights of those affected, but also undermines the security of communications as a whole, as the authorities hack into the devices and exploit security loopholes instead of closing them.
In addition, the powers to monitor individuals are to be massively expanded and the intelligence services are to be given broad discretion to take action. This is justified in particular by activities on the Internet.
Personal Opinion: This not only undermines every privacy related commitment many registered associations have brought forward over the last years it also represents a precedent of immense scope. Germany will hold elections this year but the legislative procedure for the law was extremely short so that one can assume it was forced through before the election in September. I’m honestly shocked and somewhat lost for words. The so called state-trojan is around for a while now in germany which in itself is bad enough but its use was “heavily” restricted until now.
Please if you live in germany share the information with your friends and family make them aware of it. If you’re not from germany take it as a warning how far surveillance can go, especially given that communications service providers like Facebook, Google & Twitter who own practically every major online communication platform available are might be forced to cooperate in order to monitor citizens!
Privacy has become a very important issue in modern society, with companies and governments constantly abusing their power, more and more people are waking up to the importance of digital privacy.
In this community everyone is welcome to post links and discuss topics related to privacy.
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