An estimated 245 law enforcement agencies in 35 states have for years been distributing software called ComputerCOP as a way for parents to ensure their children have a safe web-browsing experience. The problem is, ComputerCOP is just glorified spyware that lacks basic safety features.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today published its findings about this “internet safety software,” and it’s not pretty:
“As security software goes, we observed a product with a keystroke-capturing function, also called a ‘keylogger,’ that could place a family’s personal information at extreme risk by transmitting what a user types over the Internet to third-party servers without encryption. That means many versions of ComputerCOP leave children (and their parents, guests, friends, and anyone using the affected computer) exposed to the same predators, identity thieves, and bullies that police claim the software protects against.”