New tool detects spyware used by governments

As the tech industry looks for ways to combat government spying, here comes another tool backed by Amnesty International, the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation, and a couple of privacy groups in Britain and Germany. It’s called Detekt, and it’s billing itself as the first free, publicly available tool that detects spyware in PCs. Expected users include activists and journalists.

“It represents a strike back against governments who are using information obtained through surveillance to arbitrarily detain, illegally arrest and even torture human rights defenders and journalists,” said Marek Marczynski, head of Military, Security and Police at Amnesty, in a statement on the human rights group’s website.

Detekt was developed by Germany-based security researcher Claudio Guarnieri after talking with human rights activists, according to the Guardian. It is open source and scans Windows PCs for spyware. But Detekt’s site cautions that it’s a “best effort tool” that doesn’t necessarily guarantee it will detect all spyware on a computer.

 

Illustration: Al Phillips/Charlotte Observer/KRT archives

 

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