back to article Germans seduce Jacqui over remote hacking of disks

Is the UK Government about to turn world class hacker? It's going to have to if the Germans succeed in getting their domestic programme of planting Trojans onto suspects computers adopted by the EU. Let’s rewind, because this one is a little tricky. A written statement before parliament last week revealed that our Jacqui Smith …


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  1. Sceptical Bastard

    German gov: "We know where you live"

    Quote: "The German Interior Minister is determined to bring about legitimised state hacking..."

    It's bad enough watching our homegrown mad-dog politicians going hell for leather toward totalitarianism. But the idea of the bureaucratically efficient Germans leading the way is even more frightening. I'm sorry* to sound xenophobic but our Teutonic chums have a bit of form in this area as no end of Jews, gypsies, Poles, and Slavs will attest. Lessons of history, leopards and spots an' all that...

    For six decades it's been a comforting conceit of us Brits to say of pre-war Germany "Oh, it could never happen here." Yes it could. In fact, it has, courtesy of Blunkett, Reid and now Jacqui Smith

    * I made that bit up - I'm not sorry at all

  2. Christoph
    Black Helicopters

    Easy solution

    There's no need to try to sneak this spyware on by sending it in email.

    NuLabour are already going to keep a record of every email anybody sends, every website anybody visits, anything at all they do on the net.

    It is an obvious extension for them to make it compulsory to install this spyware so they can scan every disk in every computer, and log every key pressed by anyone.

    If you object to this then you are directly supporting terrorism!

  3. James Pickett


    "Not a squeak from our own Jacqui, although we do know she was there"

    Too busy with her face in the pies, I expect. She's obviously not interested in the "primacy of individual liberty".

  4. 4a$$Monkey


    If you find it reasonable that the police / security services can use surveillance on telephones then it is not that unreasonable to allow them to access disks - but it should only be done with the appropriate judicial controls and warrants.

    Like the article says with the proper precautionary measures you could stop plod planting the trojan in the first place.

    >Mines the tinfoil hat

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Emails to computers?

    Perhaps our German friend would like to enlighten us as to how he intends to send an email to a specific computer. That would be a neat trick indeed.

  6. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

    Emailing trojans?

    Let's hope the turrrsts aren't using Linux, or an email client other than OE...

    Any chance of a "Jacqui with horns" icon? (On second thoughts - "horny Jacqui"? *shudder*)

  7. John Robson Silver badge


    No problem, all terrorists use Vista, and MS will simply add a back door.

    Of course anyone using *nix is a terrorist and should be locked up for 42years unless they provide the root password and access to their bank systems.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    And just wait

    Until the crims get there hands on this new code............ hackers field day !

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    Terrorists / Miscreants stupid enough to open trojan email attachments are probably little threat anyhow..........

    Paris Obviously

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    The Germans don't care much about their own laws anyway..

    Witness what happened with Liechtenstein. The excuse of "catching evil tax avoiders" doesn't cancel out the hard fact that the German tax office knowingly bought stolen goods (and AFAIK even resold it afterwards, thus presumably trying to spread the guilt and implicating other nations in the crime).

    I care little about rich people being handed a large bill, but I do care about law and justice. What the Germans have done is create yet again a market for stolen information. As long as you can halfway offer a tax angle to it you can apparently do whatever you want - there will be a buyer who will even be prepared to make you avoid international justice. From a Liechtenstein point of view -and that of German law when actually not bypassed- this man belongs in jail.

    Interesting trends, no? As soon as the 'Mericans started to ignore their own laws to go after people that had little to do with 9/11 (oh, and lied about the intelligence they had, and by that I mean information) the rest of the planet followed eagerly, even if they had to "suicide" people like David Kelly (I know it's not a verb, and I know some believe the suicide story).

    Power corrupts. QED.

  11. John Stevens
    Paris Hilton

    Don't be so silly...


    If you read up on the German legislation, hackers are specifically prohibited from making use of any Trojan implanted by the government. If they should happen upon it whilst poking their noses into any ill-concealed computer backdoors, it will be illegal for them to make use of any spyware they find already installed on the system.

    So. Sorted. No issue whatsoever.

    Paris, cause it would be reelly dumb to think the government hadn't thought that one through already.

  12. dervheid

    The penny has finally dropped!

    Sorry for being so slow on the uptake.

    I've only just figured out that our Overlords have discovered that the internet is something that they can't *really* control, so they're out to make it even less useful than the proverbial 'chocolate fire-guard' (at least you'd be able to eat the chocolate, unless it's been made from dodgy Chinese milk, of course), by making it utterly unattractive to use for anything whatsoever.

    Back to snail-mail and mail-order catalogues then (not to mention the newsagent's top shelf).

    They'll get Jaqui to go for this, no problem. She's clearly already a 'Trojan Human' (I use human in the metaphorical sense here), as I'm sure her head has a zip up the back.

    It's time to sign those petitions, people. So stop being a bottler and get on with it!

  13. Winkypop Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    What a load of tosh

    I was going to say...ooops gotta go I've just received another unsolicited email from someone names Hans....

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Anyone out there

    have any idea how this would actually work?

    I mean if you emailed me this trojan then I could be- depending on the time of day- working on an XP, Vista, 98, WM5, WM6, various flavours of linux or occasionally a BeOS machine. That's not even all x86.

    Also, if there's an interesting email that I don't know the sender of but which looks useful/interesting I open it in a virtualPC.

    Whoops, shouldn't have said that- I'm helping the Terrorists.

  15. Matt

    What happens when...

    Norton detects Any potential terrorist who sees that is just going to lie low for a while. Although if they're using Norton they probably don't have enough common sense to do that.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More attacks on free speech due

    That's depressing reading through that. The main thrust seems to be to prevent 'radicalization' which is their cover word for attacks on free speech and privacy.

    i.e. they assert the problem of terrorism is not created by INJUSTICE, but by the words of people telling other people about the injustice. They then try to monitor all communications and control who can say what to whom.... rather than fix the underlying injustice that caused the problem.

    It fixes the symptom not the cause and makes the problem worse.

  17. Jimmy Floyd
    Paris Hilton

    Spirit? Or letter?

    "Wolfgang Schäuble ... emphasised the need to work "in the spirit of the law"."

    Mmmm. How about just working *within* the law, Wolfy?

    Paris had Germans screw her too (in 1940, I believe)

  18. Sabine Miehlbradt
    Black Helicopters

    Old news on this side of the channel

    Sorry guys, but you don't know half yet.

    The Trojan cannot be a listen-only device like telephone surveillance but it can also be used to plant evidence. There are no provisions for effective supervision at all. To top it of, these Trojans are not to be sent per email but to be installed in secret right on the PC by agents.

    So more like a constant secret search of your home, secret searches being forbidden by our laws and probably yours, too. Our federal constitutional court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) has said so, but the politicos reply was on the lines of: So we will have to change the law, then.

    Of course, the Chinese will have a field day when they work out the controlling protocol.

    We have been discussing the federal trojan on German boards for ages. I'm providing a link with a collection of news on the subject, for those who can read German.

  19. rge

    under the spreading chestnut tree....

    Jaqui Smith is a dangerous and evil fascist with a plan similar to what nazi germany had in the 1940's. She and her cronies should be stopped as soon as possible -before its all too late

  20. Chris G Silver badge

    The denazification of Germany started in 1945

    It obviously still hasn't finished and hasn't prevented the spread of totalitarianist governments.

    I for one WON'T bow down to Uberinformazionfuhrer Jaqui.

  21. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects


    What is so different from the good old days when the governing classes feared the working classes so much they invented world war to destroy it?

    Pogroms and the like having failed the round up of subversives, it is now the intent to curtail information by removing the distribution of it.

    Get the internets by the curlies and you can rerun the statutes quotes. So what else in new online? New staff on the Register I hear?


  22. Jacob Reid
    Black Helicopters

    Just use security software...

    Or alternatively, don't open dodgy attachments.

  23. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    The spirit of the law

    I'd really like to meet one single politician who understands what the spirit of the law actually means.

    I am innocent and I have the right to not have my privacy invaded just because some lunatics deem that my privacy needs to be rectally examined to prove it.

    I do not need to prove my innocence, and you who are in power are not empowered to violate my life just to "make sure".

    That is the spirit of the law.

    Yes, it makes it harder to catch criminals and terrorists, but nobody said democracy was easy.

    Besides, all this being done in the name of protecting me from terrorism ? Utter bollocks. Since 2001 we haven't caught a single terrorist worthy of the name, what makes them think that breaking into my house and planting a trojan on my PC is going to make things easier ?

    It has nothing to do with terrorists and everything to do with locking down individual liberties to a level we have not seen since the 13th century and pope Innocent III (what irony in the name !).

  24. paulc
    Black Helicopters

    Norton et al...

    will roll over and ensure their software doesn't detect the government installed "trojans"...

    I'm wondering what Google and the other web based mail providers will do when presented with an email containing one of the government devised "trojans". Will they be complicit in the actions of the state and not report the "trojan" to the user when they scan the attachments?

    Of course if this happens, then all bets are off when the black hats get hold of one of these and reverse engineer it to do their bidding while still having it look like a government sourced "trojan"...

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Time to say no!

    The UK government under Brown is run on all Hysteria and paranoia, Terrorisum causes the least deaths in the UK than driving on UK roads. the link shows an image of road deaths, terrorisum deaths and smoking related causes which do you think takes number 1 slot?

    We should go back to just after the war become our own independant Island dump EU countries look after our own citizens and remove this unelected prime minster from power with is corrupt ideas on removing our privacy, identity and freedom.

  26. Jimmy

    Raining or ranting?

    Without wishing to rain on anyone's parade here, can I suggest that we need to take a step back and look at what is actually being proposed at this meeting of interior ministers. There is absolutely no suggestion of a population-wide fishing expedition, a la Madame Smith, during which every hard drive would be infected with an officially sanctioned Trojan for the purpose of scanning and reporting back to Big Brother for analysis.

    The Germans, for example, who are well known for their efficiency would never tolerate such a wasteful use of resources. Cost/benefit analysis shows that local intelligence gathering followed by targeted surveillance is the only way to stay ahead of the game. If that involves planting software on the hard drives of Jihadis then that is what needs to be accomplished, by fair means or foul.

    The silence of our own hapless Home Secretary is best explained by the fact that when in the company of people who know what they are talking about it is best for an ill-informed amateur to keep her mouth firmly shut.

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