[Politech] German court bans police from installing Trojan Horses remotely [priv]

Declan McCullagh declan at well.com
Mon Feb 5 11:07:37 PST 2007

A few thoughts:

1. This seems to preclude German police from doing a remote search
(which would have to include malware or some way of exploiting a
security hole on the target's computer) even with a court order.

2. In the U.S., the FBI reportedly has developed similar malware called
Magic Lantern, which we've discussed here before:

3. I can't think of any domestic case offhand when we know for a fact
that the FBI has gained unauthorized remote access to a suspect's
system. Can anyone? The Scarfo case involved physical access, and this
remote intrusion case dealt with a computer in Russia:



German Court Nixes Hard Drive Search
Published: February 5, 2007
Filed at 1:42 p.m. ET
BERLIN (AP) -- A German court on Monday ruled that police cannot
remotely search criminal suspects' computer hard drives over the
Internet without their knowledge.
The decision of the Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe bars police
from using the online ''Trojan horse'' method, which involves using a
computer program to search through remote hard drives over an Internet
connection, unless parliament passes a law explicitly allowing it.
Police will still be allowed to seize evidence from computer hard drives
when conducting searches in person.
[...remainder snipped...]
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