I didn't sell it to them...... Directly!
Ok so I knew the reseller would pass the product on, but who am I to complain, I only want to make money after all. Not my problem!
Two security researchers have found new evidence that legitimate spyware sold by British firm Gamma International appears to be being used by some of the most repressive regimes in the world. Google security engineer Morgan Marquis-Boire and Berkeley student Bill Marczak were investigating spyware found in email attachments to …
From the headline I was expecting an article about British spook spyware turning up on certain computers controlling critical infrastructure or sensitive projects throughout countries in the middle east.
I'm kind of disappointed now. It was nice for a while to think that our shadowy services aren't actually as incompetent as they usually seem.
You can have legal spyware the same as you can have legal phone taps, legal guns, legal imprisonment, legal forced entry, ....
Normal / Legal are what "we" define them to be where "we" is a majority in a democracy - y'know the Tories got over 50% of the country voting for them ... or not.
...thank you lot for taking the pressure off us, via this delightful demonstration that UK-based slimeballs are at least so cheerfully vile and reprehensible as our home-grown variety. Greatly appreciated.
Next time we can return the favor -- say, by distracting the world press with a routine Mideaast invasion or perhaps just some despicable human rights violation(s) -- please don't hesitate to ask. ::mwah!::
What are you talking 'bout, "taking the pressure off"? Did you forget that the likes of Cisco still sell hardware that will allow countries to ban facebook, google, g+, and even write and modify on the fly any number of rules that will ban google play but allow g+? Or, do all sorts of pictture-building?
Eventually, cisco will be back in the news, and maybe even some of their shadow subsids intended to misdirect involvement of parent companies...
But, as for the spyware, below is a cross-post I ran too long (in the ms facebook bing thread) and part of it sort of fits here:
"Pretty soon, unless the social sites are delibertately acting as staging grounds for spies, then spies and investigators and brain-fucked repressive regimes will rely on:
Anyone besides me find "Gamma" to sound like the name of pron industry or lubrication products? (No, I'm not thinking of the Gamma Quadrant, hahaha). Maybe it was tongue-in-cheek (or, tongue-round-shaft?) for this spook/spy- company. I wonder how they sleep at night knowing that they took profit over someone's life, limb, or liberty. Sure, CERTAIN people (read, miscreants) do need spying on and to be arrested, but selling the shitware to repressive regimes should come with a back door to take down those regimes, not snuff out individuals who might just be a vocal thorn rather than an actual bomber.
I have a sneaking suspicion that that software can also cripple built-in refresh buttons in the android phones.
Yet, this could be yet another reason why Google makes it a royal pain in the ass to easily root our devices. It's not just that we might nix the adverts (which indeed would hurt google's bottom line if their reports reflect that to paying sponsors), but the governments with business permit powers would just revoke Google's charter to do business in an affected country, maybe even ban the presence of the software. One would think, however, that if that were the case, then countries like China would INVITE google, g+, and facebook so they can trojan the phones and get at the accounts, even if VPN stuff is in use. Ooops, shit, ideas? No, surely they can think of it or already have. That's why I suspect surgical crippling of Android devices is already in play..."
Gamma may be a British company but the software has been developed by the Germans (German technology, not British, but that's no surprise as Germans are very experienced in spying on their own people!), so all the British part is good at is selling it to regimes that shouldn't really have it.
Ummm ....ya think?
It was developed for Arm7, built against iOS SDK 5.1 on OSX 10.7.3 and it appears that it will run on iPhone 4, 4S, iPad 1, 2, 3, and iPod touch 3, 4 on iOS 4.0 and up."
Er no, it was developed on iOS to target arm, but it won't install on anyone's iOS device because iOS is locked down and you can't install apps that have not been granted a distribution certificate by Apple. You could install it on Jailbroken iOS. It's fine holding an opinion on iOS and to dislike its closed nature. It's not ok to try and distort facts and ignore the obvious and real benefit such a closed system brings.
"How do you know that Apple would not grant a distribution certificate?"
You don't know Apple won't grant a distribution certificate. Instead you know all the evidence points to the fact iOS is much more secure, with story after story like this one where iOS is not one of the compromised systems. Your criticism is based on wish, not the reality.
One day, no doubt, Apple will wrongly grant a distribution certificate to something that does real harm, then for sure there will be big headlines. Evidentially that has not occurred on iOS (the worst so far published being Apple granting a distribution certificate for an App that grabbed user contact data) I expect that will occur with far less frequency than other smartphone platforms, ergo, the user is safer on iOS. When and if it does occur, the app will be quickly revoked.
The simple fact is, with app submission Apple can run lots of checks for stock exploits. Simply having that extra precaution alone represents a huge reduction of the risk profile of the platform.
Apple would be required to issue one with a court order. You don't think a the police or the government couldn't get a judge to sign off on the the software to be installed on at least phone? Since that would require a distribution cert, they just got one and now the software could be installed on any iOS device.
MeeGo was open, it didn't make the list. So be closed doesn't mean it is better. Closed can just make it easier; after all, you could jailbreak an iOS with a specially crafted PDF file. Yeah, that is secure. Oh, the PDF reader was created by Apple.
"you can't install apps that have not been granted a distribution certificate by Apple"
Troll or stupid? I can't decide. Malware, installed for whatever purpose, is either installed inside something legit, or via exploits. There are plenty of exploits for iOS, one of them was most useful when I wanted to root my iPad, so I could run ad blockers and stuff, as it goes.
Oddly, it was not signed by Apple.
Makes you proud, doesn't it?
Nah. It makes me wonder about the hypocrisy inherent in our desire, along with the US, to spread our democracy around the world.
That we allow a company based in the UK to sell software which is so easily used to suppress people suggest that the high ground has been well and truly ceded.
I am suprised the Egypt government bothered to pay for the software, if your gonna spy on your citizens then you might as well steal the software to do it. Bet you can find a cracked version on some warez website.
I have seen cracked copies of the encase software used by the police to search your pc if you get nicked on warez sites and that costs tens of thousands for a legit copy.
Maybe I'm a bit slow on the uptake, but I always thought that spyware was the realm of the bad guys. Is there a legal remedy to it, or is it illegal for my legitimate anti-spyware provider to detect and/or remove this legitimate spyware? If it is illegal for them to do that, must I then somehow acquire some illegitimate anti-spyware program in order to keep my system free of all spyware? Do the authorities require a warrant to install that stuff on my machine, or can they simply trick me into installing it like the bad guys do? Is legitimate spyware like legitimate arms dealing, legitimate human trafficking, legitimate murder, etc.? That is, is it OK if the government or the police do it, but not anybody else? I'm getting very confused.
And stylized privacy bags....
Hell, why buy stock? Why not fashion my own fashion bags and sell THEM. Might make a tidy profit on an untidy business. But, the paperwork would be hell, getting across borders of countries. Or, I might just be made to "disappear", bagged in a super-sized bag-o-mine...
On second thought, ordinary people may not want to go into that line of work without protection, like a $2billion hit contract on the sourcce of ones disappearance. Is that legal? Forming a bounty on the fuckers who might kill you? Could drive up stocks, though, and get the economy rolling along again -- for a FEW years... A few STRESSFUL-AS-HELL years, no doubt...
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