Surveillance

Sheriff Says 'ComputerCOP' Spyware Isn't Spyware. If You Disagree You're a 'Liberal' Who Supports Murderers and Pedophiles

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Limestone Sheriff's Dept

Earlier this week, I highlighted top-notch research and reporting by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which exposed the true nature of ComputerCOP: The software, which has been distributed by 245 law enforcement agencies in 35 states, is marketed as "Internet safety software" for parents to keep tabs on their kids, when in fact, ComputerCOP is spyware that lacks basic safety features.

The software features a "'keylogger,' that could place a family's personal information at extreme risk by transmitting what a user types over the Internet to third-party servers without encryption. That means many versions of ComputerCOP leave children (and their parents, guests, friends, and anyone using the affected computer) exposed to the same predators, identity thieves, and bullies that police claim the software protects against," the EFF explains. While it's marketed to parents to watch their kids, it can easily be abused by an ill-intentioned spouse, co-worker, or roommate to stalk someone and steal their information.

pikawil100 Foter

Whatever, says Limestone, Alabama Sheriff Mike Blakely who on the same day the EFF exposed the glitchy, dangerous product announced that his department would begin distributing it. He tells a local news station that "he stands behind it 100 percent" and if you don't, you're a scumbag.

Blakely went right for the ad hominem, calling the EFF an "ultra-liberal organization that is not in any way credible on this." In light of the EFF's lawsuits against the U.S. government for surveilling the American public, and the organization's unwavering criticism of the Obama administration and anti-privacy Democrats like Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the only appropriate response: LOL.

Blakely doesn't stop there. "They're more interested in protecting predators and pedophiles than in protecting our children."

Limestone Sheriff's Dept.

Except that the EFF wants to stop ComputerCOP because it is a great tool for predators. "When a child with ComputerCOP installed on their laptop connects to public Wi-Fi, any sexual predator, identity thief, or bully with freely available packet-sniffing software can grab those key logs right out of the air," the organization states.

The sheriff wades further into unfamiliar waters, saying, "We have had the key logger checked out with our IT people. They have run it on our computer system. There is no malware."

Techdirt's Mike Masnick has to re-raise the EFF's red flag: "A keylogger is malware. … And the fact that this malware happens to pass unencrypted text, including passwords and credit card numbers, over the internet makes it really, really bad."

No matter. You probably support mass murderers, you sicko, if you buy into any of that mumbo jumbo. Insists Blakely, "There are some parents out in Columbine, Colorado, if they had this kind of software, things would have turned out differently."

NEXT: Deadly Police Raid Over Meth That Wasn't There Based on Tip From Car Thief

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    1. “Respect mah authoritah!”

      That stereotype?

      1. More of the stereotype that every municipal website must not advance beyond Geocities circa 1999.

        1. I wish more websites would be like that (minus the painful color choices). If the point of the site is text, you don’t need a bunch of crap cluttering it all up.

    2. That’s beautiful.

    3. Your just a queer liberal who probably likes to diddle little kids.

    4. Why do you hate America?

    5. Hey, he’s been sheriff for 31 years. The people of Limestone County obviously enjoy anal probings, so let them choose their own Inquisitor already.

  1. Someone clue me in as to why someone would want the cops to be spying on their children’s keystrokes in the first place.

    Yes, many parents want to know if their kids are doing drugs or planning a mass murder, but they want to find those things out BEFORE THE COPS DO, so they can stop them BEFORE their kid goes to prison.

    The whole point of finding those things out is to stop your kid from winding up in jail, not to assist the police in arresting them as soon as possible.

    1. Some people’s trust in authority figures is so great that they’ll just give up control of everything to them, including dealing with a wayward child. It’s disgusting but more common than you think.

    2. There’s a disturbingly high number of parents who, upon discovering their kid doing drugs, decide to turn them into the police “as a lesson” and then are shocked when it turns out badly.

      1. They probably are people from an era when the police would send wayward children home with a warning, instead of trying on felony charges as an adult.

    3. If your kid ends up in jail, you should probably just be thankful they survived their encounter with the cops.

    4. What gets me is how hysterical people get nowadays over things kids write and say.

      If modern ‘child interventionists’ had seen the doodles I drew as a kid, I would have been thorazined into oblivion.

      1. I would’ve been arrested, with national news headlines about the imminent attack that had been stopped (never mind the fact that the closest things to weapons in my house were kitchen knives, and the only time I’d fired a gun until I was out of High School was while skeet shooting at camp)

      2. I would almost certainly have been removed from my home, probably sent to a mental hospital, and then put into foster care.

      3. If modern ‘child interventionists’ had seen the doodles I drew as a kid, I would have been thorazined into oblivion.

        That’s probably the point. Thorazine’d kids grow up into good little zombie slaves that are easily controlled. Eventually they’ll just move on to pumping G-23 Paxilon Hydrohlorate (Pax for short) straight into the air…

        1. So Reason Commentariat : starved to death at their computers cause they just don’t care, or raping and cannibalizing their way across the verse?

  2. Most assholes on horses are covered by a tail.

  3. So why don’t the anti-virus firms just list this as malware that their products will scrub off your machine, I wonder?

    “We have had the key logger checked out with our IT people. They have run it on our computer system. There is no malware.”

    What a moron. I’ll bet real money that they installed it, ran a (probably outdated) version of Norton, and when it didn’t flag said it was okey-dokey.

    1. Honestly, having seen government IT departments, they probably didn’t even bother with that. You cannot comprehend the level of incompetence.

    2. I’m sure the Sheriff’s cousin Skeeter Blakely whose real good with the computerins gave it a good once-over and confirmed that nothing was going all higgeldy piggeldy.

    3. So why don’t the anti-virus firms just list this as malware that their products will scrub off your machine, I wonder?

      My guess is that it’s because this is obscure, obsolete crapware being distributed via snail mail out of some dreary industrial strip mall in New York and is not available anywhere for download like most software is in the 21st century. It’s likely that antivirus software publishers have never even seen a sample of it. I’m now tempted to buy a copy off of eBay just so I could submit it to them.

    4. They have run it on our computer system.

      I wonder if they’re still running it. I see an opportunity to make Gomer Pyle here look like a real moron.

  4. How much do you want to bet that this guy thinks IT stands for “Internet Tester”?

    1. Sounds like this is the Limestone IT manager
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zfa2ecb5lZw

  5. “Our spyware works exactly as intended, It lets us spy on anybody dumb enough to use it. What’s the problem?”

  6. I think that Blakely sees himself as the new Robocop shown in this clip:

    http://blogs.indiewire.com/the…..0-20140210

    He will personally take out all the perverts out there one shot at a time.

    (The link is to a SFW synopsis. It does have a link to the real Really NSFW clip)

  7. Booyah!

    Police on the cutting-edge on the use of technology.

  8. So, libertarians want to rely on parents keeping tabs on their kids and filtering content appropriately, but also get butthurt when they do so.

    I see how this works.

    1. You know that what you said is stupid, right? You know the issue is not the stated purpose of the software, its the fact that it does the OPPOSITE of what it should, right?

      Where do these trolls come from – do they wander in lost, or are they being hearded from somewhere?

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