Germany spies on the internet after all -

While Germans are a little sensitive about online privacy, it appears its Government has no problems with spying on them.

The German government revealed that its police monitor Skype, Google Mail, MSN Hotmail, Yahoo Mail and Facebook chat "as and when necessary" but very precisely.

The information was released as part of a move towards financial transparency. The government released figures of expenses incurred by the Federal Ministry of the Interior following a parliamentary inquiry.

The cost of snooping was in pile of very dry facts and figures which were spotted by the annalist blog  whose hacks decided that going through a shedloads of dull tables was better than anything which was on German TV.

On page 34 and page 37 of the report the cost for decoding software for Google Mail, MSN Hotmail, Yahoo Mail for prevention and investigation was listed.

A monitoring system for Skype was mentioned later. The Ministry spent a bit of money on Trojan viruses and IMSI catchers which are used for "man-in-the-middle" attacks on mobile phones used by German police.

This suggests that the belief of the tin foil hat wearers of Germany that coppers were monitoring citizens was not entirely fantastic after all.

The Germans are sensitive about privacy, so the news that internet snooping is routine should get someone jolly cross.