In the past days German media have been full of reports about some dumbass politician demanding rights for the police to do an ‘online search’ of suspects’ computers. Not only does this seem to be legally problematic as a typical search warrant will meant that the police may search certain places but at least you’ll know about it, while this seems to be a more covert approach to things where people’s computers are just ‘searched’ without their knowledge.
But what’s really amazing is the technical side of it. Even with all the security problems modern operating systems and careless computer users have – I’d still say that being able to spy out a machine remotely without the permission or knowledge of the machine’s owner isn’t something that ‘just works’. You’ll need to be lucky enough to be able to trace down people and have them run a network setup and computer system that is vulnerable to some sort of attack. Suggesting that this will be a reliable way of obtaining information marks the people doing it as people who watched too many episodes of ‘24’. (Which in turn is quite scary if those people happen to be politicians in charge of the security of the country, but I digress).
What’s even more appalling is how the media report on it. Even the main TV news who usually are quite competent wasted a few minutes of our time ‘reporting’ on these plans. Without using a second of that time to give a plausible outline about how that ‘plan’ is supposed to work in the real world.
What will our politicians ‘decide’ next week? Going twice the speed of light to give us faster space exploration and a ‘boost to industry’?
Maybe the politicians / police are thinking that if the public think that they might be snooped on they might be less likely to do something naughty. There are thousands of CCTV cameras in London, but do you think there are thousands of little men watching through all of them?
Welcome to a leaner, more cost effective 1984 ;-)
Received data seems to be invalid. The wanted file does probably not exist or the guys at last.fm changed something.