If Bavaria’s local Chaos Computer Club (CCC) hacker group has not found out about the piece of spyware on a certain citizen’s computer, the Bavarian authorities would have kept their own people in the dark about this phenomenon. The discovery of the spyware took place after CCC was asked to analyze a laptop that had belonged to a man accused of having activities that involve the illegal export of pharmaceutical products. The analysis was done because the client’s lawyer had claimed that a spyware was installed on the client’s laptop when he was once passed through airport customs. The authorities admitted that the spyware discovered, the R2D2 key logging Trojan, was used by the state to spy on suspects. The surveillance done by the state on its own citizen’s drove a German justice minister to call for the investigation of the authorities involved in such operations.
The spyware is something that goes against the privacy of an individual. Aside from monitoring and recording calls, emails and instant messaging through Skype, it can activate the microphone and webcam of the computer, thus the person spying can see and hear what is happening in the room where the computer is located. Furthermore, it can further infiltrate the system of the computer being spied on and can make the said system fully vulnerable to be taken over by other parties who may commandeer control over it, parties who are not part of the original spies who had placed the spyware in the said computer system. Another problem that the Trojan can cause is that it can allow the third party to upload false files against the owner and delete the owner’s files as well. Given these things, one can clearly see then the harm that the spyware can bring to the person. What if there would be some bad elements out there that would just want to play tricks on the owner and would upload untrue evidences that speak ill against the owner? Say records of illegal drug transactions and the likes? The use then of this spyware, even when used by people in authorities brings with it a question of legality.
Presently, there are four German states using the said spyware, Bavaria, Baden-Wurttemberg, Brandenburg and Lower Saxony. However, it is unclear whether the spyware these states use are all the same to the one found in Bavaria.
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