It's sad that we can't go more than a day lately without learning more about how governments love to eavesdrop on us, removing whatever privacy we have left. Just yesterday, we talked about the continued pressure law enforcement is putting on companies like Apple and Google regarding encryption on their respective mobile devices. For the end-user, encryption is a great thing. For governments trying to dig up information on you, it's not - which in turn is yet another great thing for consumers.
Because spying has become such a major issue, the EFF has done much to inform the public about the best ways to protect themselves. This week, the organization points us to a new tool that will reveal whether or not your Windows operating system has been compromised.
Call Detekt, the tool can scan your Windows OS for all known pieces of government-used surveillance malware - not entirely uncommon for those that the government has great interest in keeping track of, like activists and journalists. After downloading the tool, which weighs in at 25MB and doesn't need to be installed, you'll need to disable your Internet for the best result - little stops these tools from phoning home and causing a tool like Detekt to stop working.
Interestingly, even if you're acting as the administrator in your Windows install, you'll still need to right-click the executable and tell the OS to run it as Administrator. Further, the tool surprisingly doesn't support Windows 8. I ran it successfully in Windows 7, and as the above shot highlights, I'm clean. Even if that's the case, though, the tool will tell you that it doesn't mean you're definitively out of the water - there still could be new spyware that haven't been discovered yet. Even so, I think it's safe to say that you can feel pretty confident if the scan comes back clean. Though, that happiness will quickly wane once you realize how ridiculous it is that you need to go to such extremes to protect yourself from government spying.