Hacking Team Cannot Sell Spyware
June 27, 2016
I do not like spyware. Once it is downloaded onto your computer, it is a pain to delete and it even steals personal information. I think it should be illegal to make, but some good comes from spyware if it is in the right hands (ideally). Some companies make and sell spyware to government agencies. One of them is the Hacking Team and they recently had some bad news said Naked Security, “Hacking Team Loses Global License To Sell Spyware.”
You might remember Hacking Team from 2015, when its systems were hacked and 500 gigs of internal, files, emails, and product source code were posted online. The security company has spent the past year trying to repair its reputation, but the Italian Ministry of Economic Development dealt them another blow. The ministry revoked Hacking Team’s “global authorization” to sell its Remote Control System spyware suite to forty-six countries. Hacking Team can still sell within the European Union and expects to receive approval to sell outside the EU.
“MISE told Motherboard that it was aware that in 2015 Hacking Team had exported its products to Malaysia, Egypt, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Vietnam, Lebanon and Brazil.
The ministry explained that “in light of changed political situations” in “one of” those countries, MISE and the Italian Foreign Affairs, Interior and Defense ministries decided Hacking Team would require “specific individual authorization.” Hacking Team maintains that it does not sell its spyware to governments or government agencies where there is “objective evidence or credible concerns” of human rights violations.”
Hacking Team said if they suspect that any of their products were used to caused harm, they immediately suspend support if customers violate the contract terms. Privacy International does not believe that Hacking Team’s self-regulation is enough.
It points to the old argument that software is a tool and humans cause the problems.