It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that we’re all being spied upon, either by the NSA, GCHQ or some scammer trying to get our credit card details. For journalists and political activists in countries without some respect for due process or democracy, being spied upon can have some terrifying consequences. That’s why Amnesty International is throwing its weight behind a new tool that scans your computer and smartphone specifically on the hunt for the sort of spyware that’s commonly used by governments.
One such piece of software is FinSpy which, according to The Citizen Lab, is capable of monitoring your daily activity, recording ambient noise with your microphone or taking a picture with your webcam. In addition, it’s claimed that FinSpy can take screenshots, monitor your Skype chats and even extract files from your computer. It’s believed that this spyware was used to spy on prominent human rights lawyers and activists in Bahrain.
Called Detekt, the open-source tool has been developed by German security researcher Claudio Guarnieri. In addition to Amnesty’s backing, Privacy International, Digitale Gesellschaft and even the EFF have given their approval to the project. It’s free to download (down at the source link) and if you’re interested about learning more about living away from prying eyes, you can always read our three-part series on the subject.