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Communications Crime Government

An Interview With Hacking Team's CEO 80

Alastair Stevenson writes: I talked to the leader of the world's most hated surveillance company about its path to recovery and morals, following a massive attack on its systems. CEO David Vincenzetti, as you might expect, thinks that his company "deserves the protection of law and order," and disclaims (also as you'd expect) responsibility for what its clients do with the privacy-unraveling software it provides: Law enforcement must have a way to do what it has always done, that is to track criminals and prevent or prosecute crime. With the development of global terrorism and especially the ‘lone wolf’ terrorist, this requirement is even more important. Hacking Team has helped fight crime by providing a surveillance tool to law enforcement. The company believes this is a small step toward a more secure world for all who wish to used the Internet and digital tools lawfully.
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An Interview With Hacking Team's CEO

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  • by ArcadeMan ( 2766669 ) on Friday July 24, 2015 @06:39PM (#50178631)

    How about normal people who deserve protection from law and order? Politicians are corrupt, laws mean money instead of justice and governments all over the world are turning into dictatorships where elections are pointless and leaders do whatever the hell they please against their own citizens.

    Hacking Team is as guilty as the people building bombs. Sure they're not the ones launching them, but you know that's all they're going to be used for.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You are dealing with sociopaths. They are not shamed by 'guilt'. All the preaching is farting into the wind. It's not a voter issue, and the victims have no power to stop it. The world is at the mercy of the voters in their respective empires, east and west. Don't expect any improvement.

    • so far, the overwhelming feedback I'm reading is 'aww, poor babies. they don't like a taste of their own medicine'.

      as they say down south, "well, bless their hearts!"

      (and I mean that. very truly and deeply.)

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You say that is if any of it is new. What you are lamenting is how the world works, and how it has always worked.

      The primary function of law is to ensure that the aristocracy can maintain their authority over the proletariat. The primary function of the police is to protect the aristocracy from the proletariat. Any benefits instilled upon the proletariat are secondary, and there primarily to placate in an effort to avoid rebellion.

      Revolutions accomplish nothing. You unseat one group of aristocrats in or

      • Although it is true that power corrupts, and that "the new boss is the same as the old", there are just as many or more examples throughout history where resistance and revolution did change things in a positive direction. To take a few examples close to home: the American revolution and later the civil war, universal suffrage, black's rights, gay's rights. The list goes on.

        If you lean back, hide, and let the powerful get what they want then they will corrupt. That will most certainly lead to a net negati
        • by Anonymous Coward

          The things you mention were not won by battle, but merely by popularity. The violent struggles just made them happen a little bit sooner.

          History is shaped, more than anything else, by trends. Whatever idea becomes popular becomes reality. The violence is entirely secondary (though sometimes it gets forced by those who still cling to the less popular position).

          Gay's rights, for example, were won not because a few supreme court justices fought the good fight...but because enough people in the general popul

  • Sure dude (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Earthquake Retrofit ( 1372207 ) on Friday July 24, 2015 @06:44PM (#50178657) Journal
    "...especially the ‘lone wolf’ terrorist, this requirement is even more important"

    They do an enormous amount of plotting with ... themselves?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The point is to catch the "lone wolf" before the act. This will require the gathering of information and evidence to stop them otherwise it eggs up like so many other sad cases where a cop had suspicions of someone going to commit s crime but not rough evidence to act until it is too late.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        The point is a lone wolf doesn't conspire with someone; because, they are not acting in concert with someone.

        If they were two, you see, they wouldn't be "lone". If there were lone, you see, there would be one, and if you needed to communicate with someone else, that wouldn't be one would it?

        So which would it be there? You can't eavesdrop on a lone wolf any more than hear a single hand clapping, so how is spying on their communications a boon? Do you expect them to be sending emails to themselves?

  • Fair is fair. His company getting attacked IS a small step towards a more secure world for all who wish to use the internet and digital tools lawfully.

    What's he complaining about, again? He doesn't want to accept his fair share of the cost? That's just mean, though.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    BI: Does Hacking Team know how the hackers managed to get into its systems?

    DV: We have analysed the attack and learned a good deal about the techniques used, exactly what was taken, and how. That has allowed us to take steps to protect new systems that are now in place. Of course, we cannot provide details since to do so would provide valuable information for anyone wishing to attack our company in the future.

    I believe that last line wasn't transcribed correctly. I believe what Vincenzetti actually said was, "Of course, we cannot provide details since to do so would provide valuable information, and then we wouldn't be able to sell it to our clients. You think we're gonna give this shit away for free?"

  • Exploits that were watermarked to the client that your sold them to.

    These are not tools that should ever be in police hands. Requiring that outside firms do this sort of thing and thus need to keep the paper trail of warrants that allowed each and every event. Require that they be audited and a special prosecutor look into any apparent/potential breaches of law and prosecute them to the full extent (no plea deals). Require that all security vulnerabilities be disclosed to the public in 30-90 days. Tight

    • I don't get the outside firm part. Everything else you said is spot on. How is an outside firm any more trustworthy than a Federal agent? One who has actually taken an oath to discharge his duties faithfully, makes good money and can't easily be fired? Those outside employees are going to be ripe pickings for spying and corruption.

      If the NSA was still secret then this issue would be irrelevant. They should eavesdrop on everyone; know everything; and none of it matters because of that very big firewall you s

  • by sims 2 ( 994794 ) on Friday July 24, 2015 @06:56PM (#50178703)

    There are laws for unreasonable search and seizure.
    Shouldn't they apply to your electronics as well?

  • Hey Alistair (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by wbr1 ( 2538558 )
    What about when the LA is corrupt? When the stasiesque agencies you sell to are more interested in elf preservation or in creating more 'lone wolf terrorists' to keep the fear and money flowing?

    I have a better idea than 'change'. Quit. Admit wrong. Or go suck the fat cash dick of of another tin pot dictator or wannabe Mousollini.

    • by wbr1 ( 2538558 )
      Yep.. I am a troll for pointing out facts and expressing anger. Someone here has a hardon for the establishment.
  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Friday July 24, 2015 @07:12PM (#50178789) Journal

    If his company hadn't been hacked, and their filthy dirty laundry thrown in the street for everyone to see, would he still be talking about their need to find a "path to recovery and morals"?

    I wish him nothing but a lifetime of regret and penury.

  • and just because many things in the west that are OK or even normal are viewed as being criminal in certain countries is the fault. Oh what a web of lies we must tell ourselves so we can sleep at night knowing our product kills innocents.

    • and just because many things in the west that are OK or even normal are viewed as being criminal in certain countries is the fault. Oh what a web of lies we must tell ourselves so we can sleep at night knowing our product kills innocents.

      Okay then, let's look at this from the perspective of morality.

      One very good theory of morality is based on suffering.

      The exploits of Hacking Team have greatly increased the suffering of a large number of people, while other actions they could have taken (such as reporting their exploits so that vendors can fix them) would have reduced that same suffering.

      This is the definition of evil under the that theory: when your actions cause increased suffering of many people, it's evil.

      Yes, there are corner cases an

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Isn't damage control great. "I completely disclaim all responsibility for everything my company has ever done. Even though I KNEW our products were being used illegally for evil purposes. FOR THE COMMON GOOD ... they said." (misquoted from "The Quiet Earth"). This is no different than some company selling Iran parts to build a nuclear weapon and then looking the other way and disclaiming all responsibility after they detonated one somewhere. "Oh it wasn't us, it was somebody else". These people need long pr

  • Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by koan ( 80826 ) on Friday July 24, 2015 @07:38PM (#50178895)

    "Alastair Stevenson writes: I talked to the leader of the world's most hated surveillance company"

    The NSA?

  • by nomad63 ( 686331 ) on Friday July 24, 2015 @08:03PM (#50178987)
    He needs to go and "F" himself. He claims law should protect his company but his company can break any law, as long as it helps his company make money. Hypocrisy anyone ?
  • It seems to me that knowing about a vulnerability, not telling the vendor, and telling someone else is tantamount to blackmail.
    Why can't Microsoft etc go after these people in the courts?

Take your work seriously but never take yourself seriously; and do not take what happens either to yourself or your work seriously. -- Booth Tarkington