The Spanish Police might use spying Trojans on individuals’ computers

By EDRi · June 19, 2013

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: [Spanien: Staatlicher Trojaner könnte künftig Privat-Computer ausspionieren |]

A draft Criminal Procedure Code issued by the Spanish Ministry of
Justice, authorises the police to install trojans on computers from
surveyed individuals.

According to Article 350 of the proposed draft, prosecutors may ask the
judge for “the installation of a software that allows the remote
examination and without knowledge of the owner, of the content in
computers, electronic devices, computer systems, instruments of massive
storage or databases.” The measure is meant for crimes with punishments
over 3 years, for terrorism, cyber crime and organised crime.

Moreover, the draft text says that official agents may require
cooperation from “anyone who knows the operation of the computer system
or measures applied in order to protect data held there”, meaning
experts, “hackers”, ISPs or other computer companies.

The draft has raised serious concerns related to privacy as well as to
possible abuses. One of the most disturbing issues is the fact that
there is no limit saying that such a computer programme will be limited
to spying. There is no reference to what happens next with the data
obtained. After the installation of the programme, the possibilities are

Experts, such as Juan Carlos Ortiz Pradillo, from the University of
Castilla-La Mancha, explained that if the draft remains as such, Spanish
authorities will also have access to passwords that citizens use for
their email, social network profiles, bank accounts and other online

Alberto Sáiz, a specialist in interventions in communications, stated
the proposal was very invasive from the point of view of the fundamental
rights, affecting the individual’s privacy as well as the communication
secret in an extensive way. The expert considers that the range of
crimes covered by the draft is too extensive and not precise enough.

In addition, companies will have to collaborate with the police if they
require the installation of surveillance systems, something that will go
against privacy rights and data protection rules.

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tablets (only in Spanish, 3.06.2013)

Trojans in my computer? Possible? So what? (only in Spanish, 5.06.2013)

Legalising the use of Trojan viruses by the police puts in question
citizen fundamental rights (only in Spanish, 6.06.2013)