German authorities have raided the offices of FinFisher, the popular German software firm that makes surveillance tools, as part of an investigation of providing software to the oppressive regime.
German news agency Tagesschau first reported the news claiming that FinFisher had been using satellite companies to evade restrictions on the exportation of its surveillance tools.
The Munich Public Prosecutor’s Office ordered the police to raid 15 locations around Munich and at a connected company in Romania last week.
The German blog Netzpolitik and some advocacy groups (Reporters Without Borders, Society for Freedom Rights, and the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights), filed a complaint with Munich prosecutors last year after which the authorities started the investigation.
According to the complaint, FinFisher avoided the restrictions for the sale of the software to oppressive regimes that used it to spy on activists, political dissidents, privacy advocates, and citizens.
The company denied allegations and sued the German blog and requested to remove the article about the case.
In September, Amnesty International exposed a new surveillance campaign that targeted Egyptian civil society organizations with previously undisclosed versions of the FinSpy surveillance spyware.
FinSpy can spy on most popular desktop and mobile operating systems, including Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, and Linux. The new version can use the users’ devices as a spying tool, controlling both webcam and microphone, to spy on communications and collect data stored on the infected systems.
Finisher or FinFisher, is a multiplatform surveillance software used by government and law enforcement agencies for their investigations. However, it was also used by oppressive regimes to spy on dissidents, activists, and Journalists.
Since 2011 it was used in attacks against Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) in many countries, including Bahrain, Ethiopia, UAE, and much more.