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A constitutional complaint is brought against the State Trojan: the instrument is being used too frequently – and prevents the security loopholes from being remedied.

State Trojan: Politicians and journalists complain against surveillance instrument

A constitutional complaint is brought against the State Trojan: the instrument is being used too frequently – and prevents the security loopholes from being remedied.

State Trojan: Politicians and journalists complain against surveillance instrument

Just under a year after entry into force of so-called state Trojan, a group of complainants announced a constitutional complaint against State monitoring instrument. The ARD doping expert Hajo Seppelt, Turkish journalist can Dündar in exile in Germany, Green Group vice-deputy Konstantin von Notz and a Berlin criminal defense attorney are complainants, such as company coordinating constitutional complaint For Freedom Rights (GFF) of news agency AFP.

The constitutional complaint should be filed in coming days before Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe, it was said. They aim at two problems created by law, said GFF chairman Ulf Buermeyer. While state Trojan had previously only been able to be used for security purposes in absolute exceptional cases, it had now become a "standard measure of law enforcement measures" through Gesetzesneu formulation. In ory, authorities would have been allowed to use state Trojans at almost 40,000 telephone monitors arranged in year 2016. Thus, legislator had violated Federal Constitutional Court's requirement to use such monitoring measures only cautiously.

Prevention measures are lacking

"The second reason for constitutional complaint is that legislator has not flanked Trojanereinsatz through prevention measures for IT security," Buermeyer said. It would be desirable if investigators had to report striking security vulnerabilities to software vendors to resolve se issues. "Because Trojans can now be deployed on a broad front, re is a strong incentive to not close vulnerabilities."

The legislator did not take this into view. Not only Federal Criminal Police Office could exploit security loopholes, but also any third party.

The GFF chairman reminded of WannaCry case from May last year. In this case, US intelligence service NSA was aware of a security flaw in Microsoft Windows operating system without reporting it. So cyberattack could not be prevented a good one year ago.

Constructive approach

"This can also happen at any time when German security authorities will keep security holes secret," Buermeyer said. It is constructive approach of constitutional complaint to call for management to deal with vulnerabilities.

Buermeyer said that all four complainants were affected by legal regulation. The Turkish journalist Dündar must fend off hacker attacks every day. The same applies to Seppelt, who had been involved with Russian authorities with his doping revelations. If German authorities kept se it vulnerabilities secret, y made a contribution to exploiting gaps by hackers.

Notz was also particularly vulnerable to hacker attacks as a parliamentarian and as a member of parliamentary control body. The Berlin lawyer, who is a complainant, is leading many cases in field of narcotics crime and must refore assume that it is very likely to be affected by monitoring measures.

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