Spyware increasingly a part of domestic violence




But increasingly, the 21st century is being defined by the split between people who think your computer should do what you tell it, and people who think that you can’t be trusted to control your own computer, and so they should be able to run code on it against your will, without your knowledge, and to your detriment.

I thought that would be covered by the anti-authoritarian/authoritarian split.


Mobile phone spyware costs as little as $6 a month and needs to be installed physically on a phone once for it to operate without the owner’s knowledge.



I moved 10 posts to a new topic: “Misandery”

"Misandery" (continued from "Spyware")

I would like my local military signal intelligence authorities (FRA) to keep busy keeping tab on possible military enemies and large scale threats to infrastructure while volunteering my computers for FRA:s botnets in exchange for them fending of other botnets etc. I take my chances regardig the military intelligence interest of my surfing habits and political activism.

This do of course work better the more secure my computer systems are.

Would US patriots like to have NSA inside?


Back to Spyware increasingly a part of domestic violence (victims and abusers of all genders).

I am depressingly unsurprised by this. I knew someone who was in an abusive relationship about 15 years ago who had her phoneline tapped by her partner. Thankfully that story had a reasonably happy ending for her. Technology can be as disempowering as it can be empowering if it is misused.

One solution for the future is education, if people were to learn about how their devices worked they may be able to spot unusual behavior. The down side of this is that the level of knowledge required to find some spyware will not be achievable or desirable to everyone, especially if an arms race starts.


Please stop feeding the troll. He clearly does not want to talk about spyware, which is in fact supposed to be the content of the discussion. He should start a BB sucks thread and talk at length about his reasons, but not here.

I take steps to secure my devices, but harbour no illusions that I am secure from NSA or other sophisticated malicious actors. So far it has been possible to take comfort in the fact that I am not a criminal or terrorist, and there are so many of us regular folks that singling me out would be a massive waste of resources.

Doesn’t mean that I want them getting all up in my business. And I certainly don’t want my asshole neighbour (who is a male and was abusive to his now moved out wife) to be able to abuse this intentionally broken system as a way to harm her.


Is that why people sound like abused spouses when defending the USA?


BTYJ, I fear the psychology is nearly identical.


Some people are tastier than others.


I happen to have had some experience with this. I won’t go into details but someone I know left her husband whom she was afraid of. He later spoke with me asking, very casually, if I knew how to trace people by cellphone. If there was like a service or something. You know, for his business.

I later told her not to be too paranoid, since all of these services require physical access to the phone. I did caution her not to give anyone her phone. He did track her down eventually through good old-fashioned social engineering though. Well that in combination with the fact that employers publish directories of the people working for them. The more professional your job, the easier you are to track. It gets squigglier from there, but the point is: Victims of domestic violence are really going to have a harder time as this technology develops. Look at the Google Buzz fiasco. If anyone remembers Google automagically and publicly friended everyone in your contacts list for you. It was embarrassing for some, but downright frightening for people who suddenly had abusive ex-spouses on their friends list, with access to information they’d rather they not have.

Forget Snowden and US governmental invasion of privacy for a minute: We’re going to need to develop some good laws in this area to protect people from technology functioning as intended.


But increasingly, the 21st century is being defined by the split between people who think your computer should do what you tell it, and people who think that you can’t be trusted to control your own computer, and so they should be able to run code on it against your will, without your knowledge, and to your detriment.

I don’t have (or want) access to my wife’s laptop, but every time she accesses a website from our home network, it would be trivial enough to log that and get a daily report of the sort of web surfing she is doing. That wouldn’t tell me as much as surreptitiously installing a keylogger on her machine, but it would still tell me a lot that she might want to keep private. Would doing so be as pernicious as installing spyware on her computer?

I know someone who was married to a compulsive gambler and wanted to install spyware on his/her spouse’s computer to make sure the spouse wasn’t gambling away the savings account. Is this just as objectionable as the abusive spouse who wants to keep his wife “in line”?


There’s a lot of truth in this post, but the example of domestic abuse doesn’t support the point Cory wants to make about “people who think that you can’t be trusted to control your own computer”. Abusers are taking other people’s phones/devices/computers, which they have physical access to, and installing spyware on them. Like it or not, that is obviously easier to do (and to do covertly, and to make challenging to remove) the more control somebody has over their “own” computer.


It’s about that too. It’s the malignancy of it.


My employer installs a program on my work-issued laptop that I see clearly in the Windows taskbar that makes it trivial for them to monitor anything I do on that laptop. Is that okay because they make it clear they’re doing it?


People can have valid reasons to keep secrets from their partners, like if they were told something by a friend in confidence, and I wouldn’t think much of someone who was logging sites they were visiting. It’s a very good way to misundersand the situation as well.

I don’t feel qualified to say anything about this, its more for someone like a relationship counsellor.


Was that “pick a side” at the end really necessary? What, I’m either with you or against you?


Uuugh this brings back a special memory of my first couple years here in Phoenix. I moved here when I was 19, and ended up in a really terrible relationship with an emotionally abusive dude. He didn’t hit me, but he was really manipulative and just plain terrible. (In fact, had he hit me, I would have left right away. Emotional and psychological abuse are slow burners and are not always easy to identify. It took me the entire relationship to fully realize what was going on and I’m not dumb. That relationship has effected my entire adult dating life.)

He took advantage of the fact that I had moved from a tiny town and was new to the big city and still a little naive. A little over two years into the relationship, and I left. It took me MONTHS after we broke up to get totally rid of him. Apparently there was a fucking key logger on MY computer, along with some other stuff. SUDDENLY SO MUCH MADE SENSE. I felt so fucking stupid (and I’m not stupid nor ignorant of this shit, I was just naive).

This was back in like 2002 (when we broke up), and I can’t imagine what it’s like now – he was wicked smart and in IT. You don’t need to be those things now to get away with this sort of thing. :confused:


Yeah, because it’s a work-issued laptop, and you were issued it with the assumption you would follow the rules of use they set and use it only for work (or, at least, not use it for porn.)

You know it’s there, you agreed to let it be there, and, more importantly the company actually has a pretty decent reason for watching what you’re doing, to make sure you’re only using the laptop given to you only for work-related activities for work-related activities.


I would say, yes. “Work-issued” is important. Also, “work-provided” internet access would be important. These are provided by your place of business. It’s not owned by you. Therefore they have a right to have access to the internet history, etc., of your WORK-ISSUED equipment on your WORK-PROVIDED internet access. They also have access to your internet browsing history if you are using your personal laptop or tablet or whatever while using work-provided internet. Same goes for public wi-fi you are receiving from the library or your favorite coffee shop: