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back to article Spy tech exports from Europe face tighter scrutiny

The EU could soon introduce rules to monitor the deployment of internet censorship technology in autocratic regimes including China and Saudi Arabia. The European Parliament is proposing a resolution to strengthen the accountability of countries that export gear used to block websites and eavesdrop on mobile communications. " …

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HMB

I'm so glad our government doesn't have any heavy handed monitoring and censorship plans!

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Anonymous Coward

Privatised

Google's doing the monitoring and skewing search results so the government doesn't have to

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Big Brother

... including China and Saudi Arabia...

... and the United Kingdom if certain Home Secretaries and Intelligence Services get their way...

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Silver badge

Re: ... including China and Saudi Arabia...

Don't forget Canada if the current "your with us or the pedos" law passes.

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Headmaster

Re: ... including China and Saudi Arabia...

Why don't people get the difference between "you're and your"?

There so stupid...

Ducks. Very quickly. And runs ;-)

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Anonymous Coward

Logic

"Do not sell spy software to regimes that are, after all, merely exercising their power over their own locals, however we might dislike it, while we've outsourced the spying on our own citizens overseas even though we don't actually get anything back for it. Love, the eurocrats."

Really now, selling out the citizens and then forbidding to make a buck the same way? Why aren't you even trying to get your own shop in order first, brussbourgh?

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Silver badge

To be honest

I'd rather see them monitor and publicise the sale of such hardware and software within the EU.

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So intrusive systems are to be banned from countries with intrusive governments. What other use does this stuff have ?

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Carefully parsed statements

"no evidence of controlled military goods exported from the United Kingdom being used for internal repression in the Middle East and North Africa".

Note the weasel word "controlled". It is unquestionable UK military exports are used in the brutal crackdown in Bahrain:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/17/bahrain-crackdown-uk-arms-sales

Then again, Bahrain was for all practical purposes invaded by Saudi Arabia, so this might be "external" rather than "internal" repression.

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Anonymous Coward

rant

well the finfisher remote access trojan (RAT) which was marketed by UK/German company Gamma International was certainly trialed by the Mubarak era Egyptian State Security. they were impressed by how the trojan allowed them full analysis of activist Skype calls etc

When the zero-day bug (which existed for years!) in Apple iTunes was suspected of being used for installing the finfisher suite, around the world - including in Blake's green and pleasant Land - the news report on this - from Telegraph.co.uk wasn't available for hours! I had the headline from the moment of release but couldn't get the story. Shirley a coincidence, considering the amount of time needed to do RAT maintenance and control/command updates on the thousands of UK monitored PCs would have been very similar to the time that the story was delayed...

Seriously: RATs are actually a very sensible, very proportional form of surveillance in the EU and their judicially approved use should be encouraged for police needs, and the results should be allowed to be presented in court.

There is no way to stop the use of surveillance dual-use telecommunications weapons by EU brokers as it the arms industry we are talking about! What self-regulation laws do they follow? What government lobbying do they do? (none, lots)

French (Massive Interception) Amesys-Bull actually populated the target search fields for their Ghedaffi Libyan national surveillance systems with real live targets, real live 'terrorists' (who are now the new Libyan government - oh and their British Lawyers) This was denied - but if you download the Amesys-Bull Eagle-Glint training manual - available on Wikileaks - you can cut and paste the names, email addresses and other target details yourself as they are 'censored' using a photoshop layer!

The only way out of this is that surveillance dual-use telecommunications weapons need a centralized database of each and every device, Axe-10 switch, CISCO advanced Router, Boeing Narus DPI that is CAPABLE of killing activists by the misuse of their packet data, worldwide. Now let the European Parliament debate industry self-regulation and see what we get instead? /rant

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Anonymous Coward

Nobility or monopoly, or subversion? That's the choice.

On the surface, it may sound commendable for the EU to stop selling these tools to tyrants, but in the end, it allows the Americans to corner the market with their own high-end cybersurveillance software real-time with deep packet inspection from companies like Narus, who sell their stuff to the worst regimes on the planet.

It would be a better strategy to lowball the cost of the EU-based systems to make sure dictatorships bought from Europe, but include in the software hidden backdoors and ways to monitor its scope of use, so that it can be remotely disabled if it violates the license agreement for use.

Getting out of the game entirely is either bowing to public perception, or bowing to pressure from the Americans, who want no competition.

The authoritarian bastards treating their people like garbage need to be given a pwned system with an off switch and back-doors for usage monitoring.

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