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Legal Use of Spyware?
The French Government is currently discussing a new law proposal referred to as “Loppsi 2” (Loi d’orientation et de programmation pour la performance de la securité intérieure) which is intended to be implemented in France between 2010 and 2015. The French Government refers to “Loppsi 2” as an efficient tool in the war against illegal activities on the internet such as pedophilia, however, even if that remains unsaid the law is of course also intended to be used in order to prevent other types of illegal online activities.
Loppsi 2 will allow government officials and the polices to, without the users’ consent or knowledge, upload spyware (such as Trojans) onto users’ computers for a period of four months in order to access, collect, register and transmit any information that passes the computer during that period. For the initial four months period no court order is required, but in order to have the right to continue the use of spyware for an additional four month period, a permission by a judge is necessary. The information collected will be registered in a database called “Perikles”, which opens up the possibility for the police and the Government to create “super-dossiers” of certain citizens (i.e. databases specifying in detail targeted peoples’ online activities). Loppsi 2 makes certain exceptions for certain categories of professionals such as lawyers, doctors and journalists.