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Services Australia Pays $ 1.2 Million For Controversial Spyware For Fraud Investigations | Australian Police and Police

Services Australia has 1.2 million controversial digital intelligence companies that allow police to break into smartphones and copy all data for software that assists in “investigating fraud and other criminal activity.” I paid the dollar.

The technology of the Israeli company Cellebrite retrieves data from phones that are traditionally purchased and owned by police around the world, including police in the Victorian and New South Wales states of Australia.

Cellebrite is associated with law enforcement attempts to bypass encrypted devices, but most of its tools are designed to extract information from unlocked devices, investigated by investigators. You can easily screen all the data stored on your phone as part of.

Australian social support agencies signed a $ 460,000 contract with the company in 2020 and extended the contract in August of this year to bring the total to $ 1.2 million.

The Canberra Times reported in 2017 The agency initially spent $ 32,000 on software for “less than 50” uses, suggesting that usage has increased significantly over the last four years. On Thursday, the department refused to say how many times it used the technology.

A spokesperson for the agency said Cellebrite’s service “supports the investigation of fraud and other criminal activity.”

“This includes investigating the evidence gathered under the warrant,” said a spokesman. “We are continually adapting and evolving our criminal information and investigative capabilities to combat the ever-increasing threat of crime and protect the integrity of Australia’s social support system.”

When asked why Service Australia needed the tools they normally use instead of partnering with the police in a fraud investigation, a spokesman said Service Australia had long been “unique to the programs we manage. I have been conducting a criminal investigation. “

“These investigations may refer us to the Federal Prosecutor’s Office (CDPP). Authorities also need to leverage close relationships with law enforcement agencies to identify and address criminal activity. And we’ll do it when it’s appropriate, “said the spokesman.

Services Australia refused to state which programs, such as job seekers, Medicare, and disability support pensions, used this technology to investigate fraud.

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Janet Rice, a spokesman for the Greens’ family, aging and community services, said the party will pursue Australian services for the use of technology in Senate estimates in late October.

“We need clear answers and accountability from the ministers and government agencies about what the deal is used for and why,” Rice said.

“This bid raises a serious question for Services Australia: why we need this software, what it is used for, and whether we can guarantee that it does not violate the human rights of people, including their right to privacy. ..

“It’s scary to see Australian services spending more than $ 1 million on what appears to be more surveillance of income-backed people after the pain and suffering caused by Robodette. “

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During April The question was raised About the reliability of data obtained from Cellebrite extract after Moxie Marlinspike, the founder of the encrypted messaging app Signal I published a blog post An overview of a series of vulnerabilities in Israeli company surveillance equipment.

He is vulnerable to being able to modify “not only Cellebrite reports created by that scan, but all previous and future Cellebrite reports generated from all previously scanned devices and all future scanned devices.” Claimed to have found 100 vulnerabilities, including.

Then the company Update to that software He said he could not find an instance of the vulnerability that addressed the vulnerability and modified the data.

Guardian Australia is asking Cellebrite for comment.

Cellebrite has contracts with many Australian government departments, including the Australian Taxation Authority, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, the Australian Federal Police and the Ministry of Defense.

Services Australia Pays $ 1.2 Million For Controversial Spyware For Fraud Investigations | Australian Police and Police

Source link Services Australia Pays $ 1.2 Million For Controversial Spyware For Fraud Investigations | Australian Police and Police

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