Police deny using spying software detailed by WikiLeaks

The Royal Thai Police denied reports it is using surveillance software from Italy to spy on people’s emails and mobile devices.

While a police spokesman today didn’t deny spending THB10 million in 2013 for software from a company called “Hacking Team” detailed in documents and emails leaked by WikiLeaks and publicized Sunday, he said it could be used to spy on people.

Spokesman Prawuth Thawornsiri said the software, which is sold to governments and law enforcement agencies to gain access to private communications, couldn’t be used to spy on citizens in Thailand because doing so would be illegal and counter to national police policy, The Nation reported.

The leaked details of Hacking Team’s customers and internal communications show the Royal Thai Police purchased software worth more than THB10 million in 2013 while the Royal Thai Army spent more than THB13 million in 2014, according to the information from WikiLeaks.

Hacking Team is a Milan-based company under scrutiny for selling surveillance software to governments and law enforcement agencies. It helps them exploit security vulnerabilities to install  remote control access enabling governments to monitor the communications of citizens online, as well as gain access to their encrypted files and emails.

It can be used to record Skype and other voice over IP communications, as well as remotely activate microphones and cameras on target devices.

The company was itself hacked two weeks ago, with hundreds gigabytes of internal data and communications uploaded to the internet.

Photo: Citizen Lab

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