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Report: Government spyware crops up in 21 countries

(Mashable) Four cyber sleuths claim to have found evidence of “untraceable,” government-grade surveillance software in use in 21 countries, some of which have records of dubious practices when it comes to human rights and Internet freedom.

The report marks the first time that researchers have been able to map the worldwide proliferation of the spyware that Hacking Team, an Italian company, sells to governments and law enforcement agencies.

The company claims it doesn’t sell its products to “repressive regimes,” but some of the 21 governments linked to its software, like those of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, or Sudan, have questionable human rights records. It also claims its Remote Control System (RCS) spyware, which allows law enforcement to record and monitor just about everything that happens on a target’s computer, is untraceable.