back to article Spyware-for-cops Hacking Team faces off against privacy critics

Controversial spyware-for-cops outfit Hacking Team has defended its snooping and come out on the offensive against security research critics. Last week Glenn Greenwald’s The Intercept published what it asserted were secret manuals illustrating how Hacking Team sold its spyware sold to authoritarian regimes around the world. …

  1. John G Imrie

    allegations are conjecture

    I always end up translating this as 'Yes what you are saying is true, but you can't prove it'

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Kaspersky should be worried about what Russia sells to authoritarian regimes...

    It's funny a Russian-based company complains what other sells to authoritarian regimes. Also if I'm not wrong Kaspersky works with countries like Iran that happily jail and hang women just because they do not accept to be semi-human beings.

    And tons of Western weapons are sold to Saudi Arabia - British EF-2000, anyone - are cyber weapons different? Otherwise, stop selling them weapons, soccer teams and everything else...

    Are there also evidences that Hacking Team sold its products directly, and not that some other law enforcement agency or government didn't turn some of them to "allies" even if not exactly the most human rights compliant ones?

    Also are journalist sure companies like Vupen never sold zero days exploits to those regimes, although they leave far less evidence of a targes system than spywares?

    Looks like some competitors wish to target Hacking Team - as if it was the only companies developing and selling such tools.

    1. Mephistro

      Re: Kaspersky should be worried about what Russia sells to authoritarian regimes...

      "Looks like some competitors wish to target Hacking Team - as if it was the only companies developing and selling such tools"

      Sorry to dissent, but the competitors are probably crossing their fingers for not being affected by the potential fallout of this. If the public's eye focuses on this issue, chances are that these competitors will also suffer the consequences. Giving hacking tools the legal status of 'ammunition' could potentially put these companies under several levels -local and international- of regulation, and smother them in red tape. Which would be a good thing, imo.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Kaspersky should be worried about what Russia sells to authoritarian regimes...

        >Giving hacking tools the legal status of 'ammunition'

        And give the police powers to make no-notice, no-warrant searches of your house if you have a gdb-license. Just to make sure you keep your copy of wireshark in a locked cabinet of course.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    warranted properly targeted proportional digital interception is OK

    As the man says, warranted properly targeted proportional digital interception is OK.

    it's the hoovering up of everything, then 'perhaps' selecting later that's the big problem.

    AMESYS-BULL (for their Eagle internet) intercept in a box claimed to be able to store the entire annual internet use of a country, then keyword search it later,

    The Hacking-Team remote access tools might be used proportionally , but they ought to stop RCS flashing the LED on the webcam when it takes an image, that's so distracting for me!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Most respected?

    In their rebuttal, they say "In this case, they go so far as to begin by mocking the concerns of even the most respected law enforcement organizations (See FBI, Comey, Oct. 16, 2014)."

    That they hold up the FBI (and particularly under Comey) as a "most respected" law enforcement organization is a strong indication that they are frighteningly deluded.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Keep using close source code

    Keep using proprietary products and it will keep happening.

    Want to keep your privacy ?

    1) Stop using everything with word "smart" or "tablet".

    2) Stop using apple and microsoft.

    3) Use Free Software like BSD or GPL.

    4) Stop being an idiot.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Keep using close source code

      Do you review every line of code you run? Do you check every javascript you run? Stop being an idiot...

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    respected law enforcement organizations

    beat to it by prior AC. the Feeble Bodied Institute is not what i would call "respected"; in any sense of the word.

  7. Phil Koenig

    Black Hats, White Hats

    It must be so reassuring to live in a world where all the regimes on "our" side are good, and all the regimes on the "other" side are bad.

  8. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    " Kaspersky should be worried about what Russia sells to authoritarian regimes... "

    I'm sure they are.

    So... anyway. Hacking Team should understand (and maybe they do), privacy advocates advocate privacy -- trojans and spyware aim to erode user's privacy no matter who is operating it. Privacy advocates don't go for that waffle-y "Oh well, these inalienable rights need to be 'balanced' against these other things the gov't want to do to^H^H for you." Really, it's as simple as that.

    I don't judge Hacking Team TOO harshly -- they are restraining from selling their products directly to people or groups planning to make criminal use of it (for example, they are not selling directly to groups planning to use it just to skim off credit card numbers and banking info... which MANY spyware authors do). And, they may think that selling this spyware to governments is doing some kind of good. Right or wrong, some people really believe in giving the gov't a strong hand and assume that this power won't go to their head as it were. Don't get me wrong, I am a privacy advocate so I vehemently oppose their actions, but I can see where Hacking Teams' objections are coming from.

  9. teebie

    Oh, they said it was about terrorists, it must be for our own good then.

    (I hope the sarcasm shines through)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Communication Tools

    So according to David Vincenzetti, people use douche-smartphones and the web to communicate in secret...

    Does he know that the web is just a tiny part of the internet communication domain ?

    Does he know it's easy to create crypto based client / server communication software which has nothing to do with the web ?

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