Is Big Brother Watching? Amnesty’s New App Scans For Spyware

Worried that the government is spying on your computer activity? A new anti-spyware tool from Amnesty International released Wednesday scans devices for government surveillance software.

Detekt is a free, open-source app that checks a user's computer for malicious software that has been used to target political activists, journalists and others around the world. Amnesty and its partners said in recent years they "have witnessed a huge growth in the adoption and trade" of such spyware -- which can give governments the ability to read emails, listen to Skype conversations, remotely turn on a computer's microphone, and more.

The program is currently available only for Windows PCs. German security researcher Claudio Guarnieri developed the app for Amnesty, which released Detekt in partnership with rights groups Digitale Gesellschaft, Electronic Frontier Foundation and Privacy International. The groups warned "Detekt is a best effort tool" and can't offer warranties or guarantees that a computer is not compromised.

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-- Julianne Pepitone