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ComputerCOP parental surveillance is poorly-made 'spyware', says angry EFF

John E. Dunn | Oct. 7, 2014
Police shamed for endorsing programme.

A good example would be that of a US sheriff who was put on probation after being caught spying on his wife's communications using a hardware keylogger of the sort openly sold on Amazon.

Further back in time was the Lover Spy program marketed to members of the public to spy on husbands, wives and partners, which ended with an FBI indictment for its alleged creator. In 2012 the FTC also called out retailers that were using a spyware system to remotely monitor PCs rented to members of the public. In short, this is a sector that has been troubled by poorly-made programs determined to cash on Internet paranoia.

In each case, the programs used were considered acceptable until suddenly they weren't.

Is ComputerCOP another example? From the description given by EFF, it looks incredibly out of date, from its clunky interface to a range of features that sound at least a decade out of date. It is surprising that such obsolete technology is still being sold to anyone, let alone promoted by police authorities that should know better.

"As official as it looks, ComputerCOP is actually just spyware, generally bought in bulk from a New York company that appears to do nothing but market this software to local government agencies."

On this bases, ComputerCOP doesn't sound like a well-made program but it is far from alone in making a living from the US home paranoia market.

 

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