NEWS FROM THE LAB - Tuesday, February 6, 2007

German Supreme Court Says No to Hacking Posted by Sean @ 15:32 GMT

Four months ago – We posted on the topic of police authorities using software to tap VoIP conversations. The post was about a department of the Swiss government performing an investigation into the possibility of using "spying" applications.

Now Germany is debating the topic – Police authorities in Germany have been prohibited from "hacking" into a suspect's computer by a recent supreme court ruling. The German court determined hacking techniques couldn't be used because no legal framework exists at this time. Further debate is possible and Germany's Interior Minister Wolfgang Sch´┐Żuble will reportedly push for the legal changes needed to allow the police to perform such activities. Deutsche Welle has an English language article with more details here.

So this forms the basis for the question we'd like to ask you – Should legitimate law enforcement authorities such as the police be allowed to use applications that would in other circumstances be considered malware? Should they be allowed to use hacking techniques to investigate suspects?