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German Police May Not Break Into a Suspect's PC 123

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the no-peeking dept.
hweimer writes to tell us that a ruling in Germany's Supreme Court has made it illegal for the police to secretly hack into a suspect's computer. While some hailed this as a victory for civil rights, Germany's Interior Minister Wolfgang Schauble is expected to push for changes in the legal framework to allow police hacking.
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German Police May Not Break Into a Suspect's PC

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  • ...country of freedom and civil rights ;-)
    • Re:Oh, Germany... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mrjb (547783) on Monday February 05, 2007 @05:39PM (#17895652)
      And you live where, in the Land of the Free?
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Aaron Isotton (958761)
        No, in the land of chocolate, banks and watches.
      • Re:Oh, Germany... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Qbertino (265505) on Monday February 05, 2007 @06:28PM (#17896506)
        Yes. More free than in the US I'd actually say. There are some things that suck big time about germany, don't get me wrong. Bureaucracy is one of the things that come to mind. That's really bad over here. The weather is constantly so-so, meaning often rainy but without the british poetry associated with it. Another thing that is really depressing compared to other countries is the loads of post-WW2 architecture that is ugly and dominates lots of the cities. This goes on the Nazies account as they pissed everyone on the entire planet off which in turn had to bomb germany into chunky kibbles. Hence: Many a crappy architecture in many parts of town hereabouts. Another thing that really bugs me is the germans and their car crazyness. No matter how many children die in traffic each year, highway speed limit is of limits to everyone and any politician who suggests it automatically does a political harakiri. Germany spend 4,7 billion man-hours in traffic jams each year, but it doesn't stop them from clogging the streets in town with cars whatsoever.

        On the upsides we still have above standard social wellfare - allthough that has gotten considerably worse with 'Hartz 4' it would be considered luxurious in the US and other countries. Contrary to popular opinion the germans can actually be very nice and well behaved folks and the general education leven is still pretty high which maintains a basic level of intelligence throughout the country. The 'show your teeth - keep smiling' attitude people know from the US is near to non-existant here and people in germany generally mean what they say. For most of the time anyway. A trait I've come to like. In social structures as in schools there is the ususal back-stabbing and such, but on a much more broader base of tolerance towards other opinions and ways of life. Even though poverty is increasing as we speak the level of wealth is still considerably high and life in germany can be very secure and pleasant. Germany in general respects and defends basic human rights - something like Guantanamo or Death Sentence would be unthinkable in todays germany - and deals relatively fair with it's citizens.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by harmonica (29841)
          No matter how many children die in traffic each year, highway speed limit is of limits to everyone and any politician who suggests it automatically does a political harakiri.

          Those children usually don't die on the Autobahn, which is the only type of street without a general speed limit. However, these days there are so many exceptions on the Autobahn where speed is limited that it doesn't make much of a difference anymore. You could just as well make 130 km/h mandatory.
        • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward
          As a fellow German let me disagree on some points.

          bureaucracy: hellish
          architecture: does only partially go to the nazis account. Especially in the 70s and in back-then socialist Eastern Germany architecture was very bad - and those architectural crimes had nothing to do with bombings
          car craziness: while we are a car crazy bunch over here, traffic death counts are very low compared to other countries (and even on the no-speed-limit Autobahn)
          social welfare: yep, pretty fantastic over here. But we pay a heavy
          • by Saint Fnordius (456567) on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @03:46AM (#17901408) Homepage Journal
            I'm an American, but I've been living here in Germany ever since I left the US Army in 1990. Some points I agree with, some seem to be more of a myth, however.

            Bureaucracy in Germany is like much of the EU: there are regulations for almost anything. This does, however, have a silver lining as that means less legal battles. The courts aren't as bogged down since there are less "grey areas", so legal insurance is a lot cheaper. Some companies are returning to Germany because of the high cost of legal battles elsewhere.

            Architecture is improving in Germany, as the butt-ugly buildings get torn down to make way for more modern structures. I would say that most larger cities now have spent a great deal to make their centres attractive pedestrian zones.

            Car craziness in Germany is different than in the USA, but not any worse. The SUV remains an exotic animal, and fuel efficiency is playing a larger role. Move into the cities like Munich, and a car becomes a liability due to the lack of parking and the net of public transportation. That said, the sons of my neighbour spend incredible amounts of time washing and cleaning their cars, caring for them more than for their girlfriends. The elder one actually presses his GF into vacuuming the upholstery with him!

            Social Welfare in Germany is still better than elsewhere, but it's also seen as a burden. Germans are born worrywarts, and the low birth rate means that the ratio of retirees to wage-earners is like a Sword of Damocles. The reforms currently being enacted are painful, mainly because for the first time social benefits are being cut, not expanded.

            Education in Germany has one huge, huge problem, and that is the way it divides pupils at age 10-12. Starting then, children are stuck into one of the three secondary schools: the Gymnasium for future academics, the Realschule for vocational careers, and the Hauptschule for the rest. As a result, those kids that have the misfortune to only attend a Hauptschule will later have an uphill battle to get a decent job, and it's incredibly difficult to switch paths. The Hauptschule has become the school for "losers".

            Human Rights, though, is one area where modern Germans are especially proud. Despite what the occasional beer hall pundit might say, only a tiny minority is really for the death penalty. Germans instead see themselves as better than the "barbarian" American justice system mainly because they don't have a death penalty. Human rights activists have more clout and respect in Germany than in any other country I have lived in.

            Privacy was after the Nazi regime a sore point with Germans. That's why this case was so important, as it represented the digital equivalent of a secret search warrant. Germans are also leery of video surveillance, and those measure already installed in train stations and other public places have to follow strict rules. Herr Schäuble's populist clamour for new laws is not even supported by the police, as the current laws still allow for snooping in the internet, just not on the suspect's hard drive without his knowledge.
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Ihlosi (895663)
              Bureaucracy in Germany is like much of the EU: there are regulations for almost anything. This does, however, have a silver lining as that means less legal battles. The courts aren't as bogged down since there are less "grey areas", so legal insurance is a lot cheaper. Some companies are returning to Germany because of the high cost of legal battles elsewhere.

              It also keeps the authorities busy enough that they don't have too much time for making your life really miserable. They have to do all the paperwork

              • by rifter (147452)

                Having started out in the Hauptschule doesn't keep you from, say, becoming chancellor later in your life.

                Well, I am glad to hear that the machinery is still ticking along like a clock over there in Germany. After all having a German chancellor who received a poor education, especially one who feels he was unfairly held back [slashdot.org], never caused any trouble... Well, okay there was that one guy. He never did forgive those academics for the negative control he felt they had over his destiny.

                His name slips my mind

                • by Ihlosi (895663)
                  After all having a German chancellor who received a poor education,

                  Well ... I wasn't referring to that one. I was referring to Mr. Schroeder, who started out in Hauptschule (and had a job as a sales clerk, afair), and through hard work and determination worked his way to being able to study Law and becoming a lawyer, from where he went into politics.

                  Not that I agree with his political views, or voted for him, but you've got to admire his career path.

            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by KDR_11k (778916)
              I think the educational divison does make sense, not all children are equally fast learners so you either slow down the fast learners or leave the slow learners behind. Obviously it's a bad idea to leave them behind because they won't ever be able to catch up so you have to go with the speed the slowest ones can deal with. Sorting them by their learning speeds beforehand makes the span of speeds in a class smaller and leaves the fast learners less bored. While it's hard to change the branch of education you
              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                As a parent, I have to disagree on the strongest terms. The current system is broken not only because it often makes mistakes in the evaluation, but also because children learn in spurts. "Slow" learners can often have a huge spurt when that "aha!" moment comes. But you know what? The greatest sin of the current system is that it enforces a stagnation in social class: who your parents are plays a huge role in what school you're allowed to attend. The teachers will secretly set quotas out of fear that the "b
          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by KDR_11k (778916)
            Well I think we're worse than the US and the internatinal PISA-study showed this.

            I don't put much value into that study. Put a bunch of pupils in front of a test and tell them it doesn't get graded. About half of them (low estimate) won't even attempt to get it right and instead brag about the kind of nonsense they produced. I think I was involved in one of these tests back then and I certainly didn't place the source of the Danube in Turkey because I believed in it.
        • by Moraelin (679338) on Monday February 05, 2007 @08:14PM (#17898102) Journal
          I'll mostly aggree about the other points, but I'm not sure what the point about children dying and the highways is. We're not talking in the cities, we're not even talking fast roads as such, we're talking major highways surrounded by at least fences and usually walls (against noise) too in the urban areas. To actually get onto a highway, a kid would have to walk quite a bit from wherever their home is, and climb over / crawl under a fence. I'm not even aware of that ever happening. Even if I might have missed a case somewhere along the road, it's hardly reason to plan traffic around such an unlikely scenario.

          Also, if we're talking car-crazy, I'd like to say that at least Germany is designed to at least _allow_ one to not have a car, pretty much anywhere they may live. Compare it to USA suburban areas where in most cases you can't even walk even if you wanted to. Not only there are sidewalks everywhere, there's also good public transportation everywhere, and most places have supermarkets every 1 km or less. (As opposed to concentrating everything in some mall outside the town that's not even practical or in some cases possible to reach without a car.) So if you want to walk or take a bus instead, at least you _can_. I actually have (well paid) co-workers who come by bus, and at least one refuses to have a car and supposedly burned his driver's license as a protest against something or another.

          Also the suburbia craze hasn't hit here half as hard as in the USA, where the American dream seems to be that if you're white and even vaguely countable as middle class, you have to move somewhere away from other people in some place reachable only by car. I suppose that not having much of an inner-city crime problem also helps with that. Most of my co-workers (again, well-paid and including some managers) actually like living in a populated place, on account of being more a more social thing. Which again tends to create somewhat less reason for a car exodus daily. Not that there isn't one, but it could be worse, you know?

          Traffic congestions are a problem in some places, but then that's a problem in most of the western world. Cars in the 40's were still a luxury, so noone assumed we'd end up having _this_ many when they planned the cities. Short of demolishing half the city again and rebuilding it with wider roads, there's not that horribly much one can do. People aren't going to just give up their cars in Germany, but then again they aren't going to give up their cars in the USA either. And I was just reading a few days ago about Turkey having a traffic problem too, and a proposal to forbid more than one car per family in Istanbul. The Turks weren't happy about that idea, either. So that problem pretty much isn't a Germany-only problem by any kind of reckoning.
          • by unity100 (970058)
            in turkey, there are actually families in which, despite they are going to the same place from their home for the same appointment, father, mother and daughter can use their seperate cars, go to the appointment (3 km away, and easily reachable by seaside-going tram), park their cars, attend the appointment, then go to their cars, come back to their home, park their cars and get in their home.

            this is one of the extreme examples, but you get the idea.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Khabok (940349)
          Bureaucracy is one of the things that come to mind. That's really bad over here.

          US has that too, especially the school system. Our schools are required by law to contract everything to whoever puts in the lowest bid. The result is that nothing ever works, from the lawn sprinklers to the climate control. Our district in particular has something approaching ten thousand clients accessing the internet through 3.0 MBps. I kid you not.

          Another thing that is really depressing compared to other countries
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Oh well... according to the quality of life 2007 website the united states citizens are much less free than the citizens of many other countries:

        http://www.il-ireland.com/il/qofl07/ [il-ireland.com]

        the freedom index of U.S. is 92, while Germany is 100 (still U.S. is 5th in overall quality of life versus 11th of Germany). (if you sort on the freedom list .. U.S. appears worse than many third world countries).
  • ...sadly still doesn't keep certain lawyer's offices from logging hundreds of IPs using hacked P2P programs. Just to ensure a steady flow of money towards them and their "clients"...
    • I'd love to see the RIAA and MPAA given the legal right to hack P2p users computers. The net result would be a huge drop in the number of leaches. And a huge increase in the RIAA/MPAA networks randomly ceasing to exist for long periods of time. Someone has to ask the real question at hand. Do the police really want to open that particular door? If so, can they hope to match resources and wits against the worlds hackers? Or are they only interested in hacking into Joe User's desktop? I welcome an effo
      • by Jesus_666 (702802)
        Phh. What we'll see is that within months a fire-and-forget honeypot system will spring into existence that detects any unusual connections and slows them down. P2P will continue and the **AA/police will be caught in a technological battle with the OSS crowd. And I think I know who's better at network security...
    • by badspyro (920162)
      The german government, as far as I am aware, never actualy hacked a P2P server, they just set up their own and monitored it, which is still leagal, even under the latst decision.
  • But can they still ask another country to do it for them?
    • No. Or to put it another way, any evidence found that way would be inadmissible in court. Therefore any responsible Staatsanwalt (analogue to American district attorney) would avoid it for fear it would weaken his case.

      The only possible solution would be to treat it like an "anonymous tip", but even that would be scrutinised.
  • Parser error (Score:3, Interesting)

    by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Monday February 05, 2007 @05:41PM (#17895688)

    No legal framework for secret police hacking exists at this time, decided Germany's Federal Court of Justice Monday in Karlsruhe
    Is that:
    (secret police) hacking
    or
    secret (police hacking)
    • Re:Parser error (Score:5, Informative)

      by muffel (42979) on Monday February 05, 2007 @05:47PM (#17895772)
      It's secret (police hacking). Just like "real world" searches, computers may not be searched secretly. So far.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by StikyPad (445176)
        Just like "real world" searches, computers may not be searched secretly.

        Yeah, thank God for those "This call may be monitored for law enforcement purposes," recordings.
      • In related news, there's been a sudden drop in convictions for burglary in Germany. Instead of secretly hacking into a suspect's PC, they could simply have it stolen, "find" it in a raid, clone the disk and get it back to the grateful owner...
      • by bit01 (644603)

        It's secret (police hacking). Just like "real world" searches, computers may not be searched secretly. So far.

        Oh, they can be secretly searched alright, but only by the M$+CIA, and possibly other organizations like the RIAA+MPAA that have done a backroom deal with M$. TC will help insure that not even governments can see them doing it.

        If you're naive enough to think they're not doing it consider the CIA [wikipedia.org]'s annual budget, consider what they've been discovered doing behind closed doors already (conventio [wikipedia.org]

  • by User 956 (568564) on Monday February 05, 2007 @05:43PM (#17895718) Homepage
    Germany's Supreme Court has made it illegal for the police to secretly hack into a suspect's computer ... Germany's Interior Minister Wolfgang Schauble is expected to push for changes in the legal framework to allow police hacking.

    Why change the legal framework? Just change the terminology. For example, while it may now be illegal to hack into a "suspect's" computer, they clearly never said anything about someone deemed to be an "enemy combatant". Problem solved. (/sarcasm)
    • by Chmcginn (201645)
      Eh, that's an American trick. Germans are too hung up on following the rules to try and bend them that way. They'll just get the rules re-written to make all computers not owned by the government be considered public.
    • Sheesh, you don't get it at all.

      You take the person into custody and waterboard them until they confess to whatever crime you decide.

      And the public agrees they must be guilty since you wouldn't have arrested them unless they were guilty.

      ---

      Don't get too cocky over there tho- as it gets easier to track things, we grow fearful of smaller and smaller problems and justify larger and larger efforts to prevent them. Your governments are just a hair behind the US. All it will take is a couple bombs and your righ
    • by lelitsch (31136)
      You forget one important thing: Germany is not GWB's America. ;-)
  • Sounds fine to me (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SlamMan (221834) <squigit@gmNETBSDail.com minus bsd> on Monday February 05, 2007 @05:48PM (#17895788)
    This sounds right; it should be illegal unless/untill the police get a warrant.
    • Re:Sounds fine to me (Score:5, Informative)

      by Sique (173459) on Monday February 05, 2007 @05:55PM (#17895918) Homepage
      That's exactly the reasoning of the Supreme Court's decision. The chapter 102 of the Criminal Court Proceedings (102 StPO) was very clear that for any search the suspect or at least an eyewitness has to be present, and exactly that was the provision of secret spying missing.
      So the court likened this to wiretapping the phone or using secret microphones to listen to conversations in the suspect's home ("Großer Lauschangriff"), which both need a warrant.
      • by hweimer (709734)
        So the court likened this to wiretapping the phone or using secret microphones to listen to conversations in the suspect's home ("Großer Lauschangriff"), which both need a warrant.

        The court clearly said that the wiretapping laws were not applicable as well since they only permit access to live communication but not to e-mail archives from years ago.
        • by Sique (173459)
          You are right. So the full decicion was, that it is neither a search (which needs the suspect being present) nor a wiretapping (which only captures live conversations). So the court determined that this has to have a completely new legal base.
          A county in Germany (Northrhine-Westphalia) already set up new laws to allow this, but those laws are currently challenged on constitutional grounds.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Yokaze (70883)
      > it should be illegal unless/untill the police get a warrant.

      Not quite correct. It is also illegal when the police gets a warrant (which they have currently done). The court judged, that hacking into a computer is not covered by the laws of wiretapping (which they are allowed to do secretly with a warrant), but that it is search and seizure. Contrary to wiretapping, search and seizure has to be done in the presence of witnesses of the community (e.g. neighbours). After the search, the suspect has to be
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by lelitsch (31136)
      Actually, the decision goes further than this: the court decided that a judge cannot issue a search warrant that would allow hacking into a suspects computer. They basically say that since it is a clandestine police operation, it has to follow the much stricter wiretapping rules. According to the German Constitutional Court, this limits wiretapping to crimes that are punishable by at least 5 years of jail. In other words, the police will have a much harder time getting approval for hacking into a suspects c
  • German Law (Score:5, Informative)

    by HappySqurriel (1010623) on Monday February 05, 2007 @05:49PM (#17895816)
    I have no understanding of German Law but (in most countries) wouldn't hacking into secretly someone's computer be the same as an illegal search?

    I could be wrong, but as I see it tracking someone's activity online is similar to watching someone in a public space which is (somewhat) reasonable; and it could (hypothetically) be argued that any data being sent via the internet was like yelling across the field. Someone's computer (on the other hand) is private property and they have the right to believe that it is a private space (much like your house).
    • by imsabbel (611519)
      Thats exactly the argument that made the decision of the court.
    • by StikyPad (445176)
      Someone's computer (on the other hand) is private property and they have the right to believe that it is a private space (much like your house).

      An expectation of privacy does not protect against bugs and/or wiretaps if a warrant is obtained.
    • and they have the right to believe that it is a private space (much like your house).

      I suppose people everywhere pretty much have a right to believe whatever they want ... well, maybe not a right enshrined in law but people will tend to believe whatever they want. On the other hand, just because you believe your computer is a private space doesn't mean that it is such a space, and in the modern world it probably isn't. If your government doesn't own your box odds are someone does, and it's a toss-up as t
  • by Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) on Monday February 05, 2007 @05:52PM (#17895856) Homepage Journal
    The court looked at various precedents and noticed that what the police were doing was *not* really like any of them, and so needed separate legal authorization and separate thinking-through.

    Germany has stricter privacy laws, more passionately enforced, than the UK/US, but this decision is completely compatible with UK/US law that says the scope of a search has to be explicitly defined and minimal. Spyware on a computer fits neither criterion.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by vertinox (846076)
      Germany has stricter privacy laws, more passionately enforced, than the UK/US, but this decision is completely compatible with UK/US law that says the scope of a search has to be explicitly defined and minimal. Spyware on a computer fits neither criterion.

      For as much shit we give the Germans with the "Zee papers please!" skits they are really on the ball when it comes to personal freedoms over there. From my understanding they recently struck down a law that bans smoking in restaurants and clubs as unconsti
      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        For as much shit we give the Germans with the "Zee papers please!" skits

        And, one might add, someone who is reminded of "Zee papers please!" when thinking about Germany probably has not much experience in Germany. While it is true that we have ID cards (and everybody has to have a valid ID card, or alternatively a passport), in reality you are hardly ever asked for ID in Germany. There are specific situations where one is asked for ID (eg. when collecting a package from the post office which was deposited t
      • by giorgiofr (887762)
        Yes, as demonstrated by anti free speech laws and 50% income tax. Definitely respectful of individual freedom!
        • by Alphager (957739)

          Yes, as demonstrated by anti free speech laws and 50% income tax. Definitely respectful of individual freedom!
          Would you kindly point out the anti-"Free Speech"-laws Germany has?
          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward
            Well this one for example:
            http://dejure.org/gesetze/StGB/166.html [dejure.org]

            But there are more. I say freedom of speech is better protected in the US than in Germany. But Germany has better privacy rights.
          • For example, in the US you can pretend the holacaust didn't happen. It's goofy, but you can say it.
            In Germany ( and i think France), it's a crime.
            • by Petrushka (815171)
              This is a good example, but not as outrageous as some people seem to think. The rationale behind it is essentially the same as for, say, a prohibition against saying "bomb" on a plane. They're both banned because they're both incredibly dangerous things to do, and they're both significantly detrimental to the welfare, liberty, and happiness of absolutely everyone, and probably some other reasons that don't occur to me right now. The reason the prohibition against holocaust denial doesn't exist in most count
          • by KDR_11k (778916)
            I think Article 18, GG [iuscomp.org] counts although it's not freedom of speech but freedom of expression in Germany. Though I think this law applies de-facto in many more countries because combating the basic order of the country would be considered treason, terrorism or any number of other crimes.
  • by bennomatic (691188) on Monday February 05, 2007 @05:56PM (#17895932) Homepage
    ...is that there could be a form of entrapment if hacking into a personal system became legal for police to do, especially as it becomes a slippery slope, where blocking such searches is tantamount to a crime in and of itself. A technicnally savvy (but innocent) person could note the attack, take steps to block it, and then appear--in the eyes of law enforcement officials who "know" of his guilt--to be trying to avoid justice. One could imagine how this might be used as justification for a warrant to search, seize and confiscate the physical property, and perhaps dig into other private areas of the innocent party's life.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Daemonstar (84116)

      is that there could be a form of entrapment if hacking into a personal system became legal for police to do, especially as it becomes a slippery slope, where blocking such searches is tantamount to a crime in and of itself.

      Entrapment: that word doesn't mean what you think it means. I realize this is different from state-to-state and from country-to-country, but here it is from the Texas Penal Code:

      8.06. ENTRAPMENT. (a) It is a defense to prosecution that the actor engaged in the conduct charged because

    • That's why all my FreeBSD machines have a password-less police user account with a UID of 0. I just keep forgetting to allow root logins per ssh, but that's not my fault, officer.

  • by ObiWanStevobi (1030352) on Monday February 05, 2007 @06:00PM (#17895982) Journal
    If you aren't doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about. When will you privacy lunatics grasp that simple point? For once, could we stop and think of all the children this would save? You don't hate children, do you???
    • by mSparks43 (757109)
      If you have nothing to lose you have nothing to hide:
      If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear:
      The Borg Matrix [theborgmatrix.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 05, 2007 @06:06PM (#17896084)
    Putting aside the privacy concerns that I'm sure will be expressed by fellow Slashdotters, I truly don't see the point of the police hacking into a suspects' PC, at least from a forensic perspective. Sure, they might be able to find 'interesting' evidence by doing so, but at the same time, they risk compromising their whole investigation. If they successfully exploited a vulnerability to gain access to the suspects' PC, then what guarantees them (and eventually the judge) that someone else didn't do the same before them and that whatever illegal content/activity was found on the computer was not put their/committed by another hacker?

    It seems that they are providing the suspect with plausible deniability for any illegal activity that took place. If I were the police trying to prosecute someone for some digital crime, I would be praying from the bottom of my heart that the computer used to commit the crime was secured according to best practices and free of any malware.

    • by Plutonite (999141)
      Indeed. Also, it is not very easy to compromise a subject's computer if they are not connected to the internet all the time and take dynamic IP's from their service provider (like most of the people I know). The police will need ISP cooperation which, I hope, required some sort of warrant in any case (i.e before this fine law). How else would you get to the machine the first time?

  • I'm going (Score:4, Funny)

    by stummies (868371) on Monday February 05, 2007 @06:48PM (#17896854)
    Vincent: It breaks down like this: it's legal to buy it, it's legal to own it, and, if you're the proprietor of a software store, it's legal to sell it. It's legal to carry it, but that doesn't really matter 'cause - get a load of this - if you get stopped by the cops in Germany, it's illegal for them to hack your computer. I mean, that's a right the cops in Germany don't have.

    Jules: I'm going, that's all there is too it, I'm farking going.

    Vincent: Yeah baby, you'd digg it the most.
  • by adnonsense (826530) on Monday February 05, 2007 @08:23PM (#17898212) Homepage Journal

    ...it won't be tall thin men in long leather coats and wide-brimmed floppy hats.

    Seriously the politicos were, and still are, advocating what is being called a "federal trojan", i.e. secret, police-controlled spyware. Just how they plan to create such a mythical multi-platform wunder-creature is a mystery to everyone here, or they are assuming all criminals and other potential searchees are using easily-targetted Windows versions attached directly to the net and store all their data in easily-searched formats and locations.

  • obvious points (Score:4, Interesting)

    by whathappenedtomonday (581634) on Monday February 05, 2007 @08:55PM (#17898550) Journal
    - if the government can legally hack my computer to obtaint evidence, said evidence might have been put on my computer by some (other?) hacker, too. I'm no longer responsible for what is stored here, since any of the contents of my HDD might have been planted^z put there by some 3rd party.

    - I'm supposed to help cutting administrative costs, so I should use "E-Government" possibilities (websites, software, forms etc). Tax declarations can in large parts only be made online using some (Windows only) govt software. How could I possibly trust any software / website / form provided by the government if "online searches" were to be legal? How can I visit a public government website without fear of being 0wn3d?

    - as German ministers announce - Schäuble, in this case - that whatever is ruled illegal by the courts will "promptly" be put into appropriate new legislation, how am I supposed to trust this government any longer? In their oath of office, German ministers vow "to avert damage from the German people" - I don't see that. I dont't fear terrorists at all, I fear our representatives! List goes on and on, but I'm tired and kinda drunk...

  • I would move to Germany. Please fallow this example Japan. Say no to police brutality against computer privacy.
  • The police just has to find a terrorist who is stupid enough. See my small cartoon: http://geekandpoke.typepad.com/geekandpoke/2007/02 /antiterrortroja.html [typepad.com] Bye, Oliver

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