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Motherboard: Canadian police looked into buying hacking software

The Internet, the greatest tool for connectivity that humankind has ever invented,  ins in danger of being turned into something it was never intended to be— a tool for governments to spy on the private lives of everybody. Article by Matthew Braga for Motherboard

Multiple police departments across Canada met with the beleaguered Italian tech company Hacking Team between 2011 and 2014 for demonstrations of its surveillance software services, Motherboard has learned.

The company's remote control service (RCS) software—essentially, malware that is surreptitiously installed by law enforcement on a device—is capable of intercepting phone calls, text messages, passwords and app data from compromised computers and phones, and can surreptitiously turn on a target’s webcam and microphone.

Although the hacking software is marketed to law enforcement and government agencies, Hacking Team has drawn harsh criticism for also selling its services to repressive regimes in countries such as Sudan, Ethiopia, and Morocco.

Emails and documents leaked on Sunday show that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) tested surveillance software developed by Hacking Team in 2011. Hacking Team employees also flew to Vancouver and Calgary in 2013 and 2014, respectively, to demonstrate their software to local police.

A source with knowledge of the company confirmed the RCMP meeting, which took place in Ottawa in July 2011, and said that the RCMP started "a long trial" of the company's software. An email dating from October 2011 indicates that the RCMP was testing Hacking Team's Galileo remote control service (RCS) software at that time, but it is not clear when the trial began, nor when it ended.

- Read more at Motherboard

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