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Germany's Merkel hypocritical on online privacy with FinFisher spy malware exports, claims Julian Assange in latest Wikileak


By John McCarthy | Media editor

September 16, 2014 | 4 min read

WikiLeaks' latest dispatch has issued a call to Germany, requesting it to stop allowing the Munich-based FinFisher cyber-security firm to sell surveillance malware to a number of countries with poor human rights records.

Included with a scathing review of German chancellor Angela Merkel's policies, were copies of the ‘FinFisher’ computer intrusion malware designed to grant governments access to infected smartphones and computers.

The latest Wikileak may be a resurgence in Assange's transparency campaign

The communication interception tool was reportedly being widely used by governments to spy on the public in over 20 countries.

The malware was designed to breach and repress the security systems of OS X, Windows and Linux computers as well as Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Symbian and Windows Mobile devices - effectively covering the world's most prominent operating systems, making it compatible with most devices.

Wikileaks claimed to have published copies of the software to “allow security and privacy researchers to develop new fingerprints and detection techniques, identify more countries currently using the FinFisher spyware and uncover human rights abuses”.

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Assange’s website also accused the German government of hypocrisy, as it criticised the US’s extensive online surveillance programme's privacy breaches while it allowed one of its firms to earn an estimated 50m euros exporting "weaponised surveillance malware" to other nations.

Government agencies based in Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Estonia, Hungary, Italy, Mongolia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa and Vietnam were accused of using the malware to monitor citizens.

Julian Assange, editor of Wikileaks, who spoke from confines of the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, issued a statement: “FinFisher continues to operate brazenly from Germany selling weaponised surveillance malware to some of the most abusive regimes in the world.

“The Merkel government pretends to be concerned about privacy, but its actions speak otherwise. Why does the Merkel government continue to protect FinFisher?”

Assange was last month rumoured to be considering leaving the Ecuadorian embassy, where he has taken refuge for two years, after he gave Sky News a dispirited interview in which he claimed his human rights were being breached.

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