An Italian company that sells surveillance software to law enforcement agencies and governments around the world is negotiating with a Florida police agency to provide them with spyware technology. This spyware technology, which was developed by Hacking Team, will be able to infiltrate computers, and phones. This is all according to some recently released emails. This spyware technology can monitor emails and conversations and even remotely activate cameras and microphones of cell phones and laptops, turning them into surveillance devices.
HACKING TEAM SUFFERED A DATA BREACH 6 DAYS AGO
Hacking Team was recently compromised in a data breach on July 5th, when unknown hackers posted a link to downloading more than 400 gigabytes of company data. A message that was posted to the Hacking Team’s hijacked Twitter account saying that since they have nothing to hide, they were publishing all of their files, emails and source codes.
THE HACKING TEAM WORKS WITH MANY DIFFERENT COUNTRIES
The files and emails have since been catalogued by WikiLeaks, have shown that the Hack Team was also not just in business with the United States. They were also selling their products to Bahrain, Russia, Kazakhstan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan Ethiopia and Azerbaijan.
HACKING TEAM WANTS TO GET INTO THE UNITED STATES MARKET
According to the files, this year the Hacking Team was looking to enter the large market of local police agencies within the United States. One of the most promising areas was in Florida. On April 22, an agent of one of the large major crimes task forces in Osceola and Orange counties emailed Hacking Team in regards to their products.
In less than a month, a Hacking Team employee flew from Italy to Orlando with four agents and invoiced the MBI officials for over $400,000. The Orlando law enforcement agents were concerned about laws that prevent bulk surveillance and collection from those who aren’t the targets in investigations.
MIB WAS INTERESTED, BUT CONCERNED ABOUT SEARCH WARRANTS
A major concern for the Florida law enforcement was the software of the Hacking Team’s products. They are designed to provide information about everyone that the target of the investigation communicates with. In order to comply with search warrants, the MBI would need for the Hacking Team to minimize the amount of information that would be collected.
Although this is the first documented contact between Hacking Team and Florida law enforcement, this is a reflection of Florida’s stance on aggressive surveillance technologies.