Government Laptop ‘Spyware’

A father whose daughter is the recipient of a government-issued laptop has reportedly uncovered ‘spyware’ on the computer, according to a recent article published in the Trinidad Guardian.

Julien Dedier has stated that while searching for malware on his daughter’s computer, he discovered that it was taking pictures using the in-built camera and transmitting them to an undisclosed location.

If the computer was used at all by Mr. Dedier or his daughter prior to the spyware being found, we must consider the possibility that it was inadvertently installed through normal usage – browsing of the internet and downloading of music and games for example.

It is also possible that the anti-theft software installed on the laptops might, in fact, be the ‘spyware’ in question, and it may have been triggered to legitimately start sending location and image data automatically as part of its normal operation in response to what it may have perceived as a theft situation.

While TTCS does not condone any unnecessary breach of privacy by the Government through these laptops, many questions remain unanswered about this matter, and we urge the authorities to investigate thoroughly and respond by informing the public of the outcome of the investigation.

UPDATE 01: Response from the Minister of Education:

Ryan Shripat