Amazing what becomes an acceptable proposal once one sacrifices the high ground: Germany seeks expansion of computer spying — pdf
What if law enforcement agents had been able to secretly scan the contents of the computer before the attempted attack was carried out?
To the unease of many in a country with a history of government spying through the era of the Gestapo and communist rule in East Germany, law enforcement authorities are using the suitcase bomb case to argue for measures that would significantly expand their ability to spy on the once-private realm of My Documents.
Expanded surveillance laws since the Sept. 11 attacks already have enabled many Western governments to monitor telephone and e-mail traffic, the conversation in Islamic militants’ chat rooms and the websites visited by terrorism suspects.
Now, along with several other European countries, Germany is seeking authority to plant secret Trojan viruses into the computers of suspects that could scan files, photos, diagrams and voice recordings, record every keystroke typed and possibly even turn on webcams and microphones in an attempt to gain knowledge of attacks before they happen.
[...] Here in Berlin, T-shirts with a photograph of Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and the logo “Stasi 2.0,” a reference to the former German Democratic Republic’s infamous secret police, have suddenly become popular. Many fear a return to the 1970s, and the often-severe anti-terrorism measures wielded by then-West Germany to fight the devastating tactics of the leftist Red Army Faction.
And in today’s high-tech world, the proposed measure causes a chill to those who see hard drives as the new window to the soul.
Just think of the salivary gland activity among our own spying agencies!!