I received the following email from Michael Haephrati, the creator of the Trojan that was used by Israeli Private Investigators to steal confidential information from dozens of companies. Michael provides a completely different perspective on the entire drama from any of my previous coverage. He asked me to post his comments here:
I would like to comment that it is true that even though the private investigators claimed to use the software for lawful purposes only (as agreed by accepting the disclaimer which is part of the TargetEye user manual), I started to feel something is wrong. I couldn't see any files, since they received the material directly to their FTP, and stated they are using it for investigation cases such as monitoring employees within the organization, which is legal.
The system was not developed as a prank to my ex wife. It was developed for law enforcement purposes. Sadly, I realize Ruth used it against my ex-wife, which I wasn't aware of, and of course I was not charged of anything related to that at court. Please note that from now on, our system is offered only to law enforcement agencies, and not to provate investigators. You can find similar products such as Spector (www.spector.com) which anyone can download no matter the purpose of which it is used. Developing a spyware is like developing a knife or a gun. You can not blame the inventor for a crime commited using his knife or gun. When we registered the patent for the TargetEye survailance system, it was passed for approaval from the ministry of defence in Israel, which is a requirement by the Israeli law.
Michael informs me that he is free and not on probation. He is commercializing his Trojan for use by law enforcement. Now there is an interesting concept. Will US law enforcement be able to get warrants for infiltrating a suspect's computer with a Trojan horse? Are they already doing that?