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A new free tool that spots government spyware in your computer

A new free tool that spots government spyware in your computer
photo courtesy of SHUTTERSTOCK

In the wake of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden's leaks, there are a lot of reports out there about the government spying on our computers. Until now, it's been difficult to find out if you're one of the citizens being targeted. But, that all could be changing, because Amnesty International has released software that it claims can find government spyware hiding on your computer.

Amnesty International released the product Thursday in a fight back against "repressive governments" that are misusing spyware against society.

Security researcher Claudio Guarnieri created the program. It's called Detekt, and basically scans your computer for any signs of spyware and then reports back to you with the results.

If an intrusion is found, a user will be sent to a specific "emergency" page online. The application also logs data to use in investigations.

The program sounds good on paper, but is it enough to protect you from government snooping?

If it works, Detekt is a great tool to fight back against government surveillance on your computer. But, it won't actually stop governments from trying to spy on you. To solve the larger problem, there needs to be tighter regulations on how spyware is developed, sold and used, according to Amnesty International.

Powerful spyware programs are available for purchase online and governments from around the world have used them to monitor citizens.

A lot of spyware programs are available on the internet. One example is FinFisher's FinSpy, which can be used to monitor Skype conversations, extract files from hard drives, record microphones and emails, and take screenshots.

Detekt isn't for everyone. Right now, the software is only available to Windows users. Click here to learn more ways to detect spyware and viruses on your computer.

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