In WikiLeaks’ most recent release of private and classified files, it was revealed that in 2011, an Icelandic police officer solicited information on spyware for smartphones from Italian IT company Hacking Team.
Hacking Team specializes in surveillance technology, and serves a variety of governments around the world. The company has come under fire for its association with governments known for their poor track record of human rights violations, such as Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
In 2014 a damning UN report found that Hacking Team had sold spyware to the Sudanese government, in violation of a UN arms embargo.
The Icelandic Metropolitan Police Office released a statement on Friday, declaring that the police officers interactions with the company were in no way abnormal or inappropriate. According to the same statement, no software was ever purchased from Hacking Team.
Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson, MP for the Pirate Party, expressed his concern over the incident in a Facebook post on Friday.
“It doesn’t surprise me at all that the police were looking at spyware. In fact, I’d be surprised if they had never done that, but that just underlines how we need to get our act together when it comes to police surveillance,” said Helgi Hrafn.
He then criticized the fact that 99,31 percent of police warrant-requests for wiretapping are approved, calling it ridiculous and stating that “people should not feel like they live in a free society when that sort of nonsense is tolerated.”