The procurement section of the Spanish government revealed details of a contract last week, that was removed just 39 minutes after it was made public.

Considered a mistake and now shrouded in secrecy, the document detailed a 175,000 euro contract from the interior ministry, responsible for the domestic security services, for the purchase of forensic equipment from a company named as Onerecovery, which are allegedly used for tracing data and smartphone analysis, much in the same way that the American NSA got into hot water for spying on people.

The document detailed the purchase of “devices for mobile phone forensic analysis” for use by the police to “track information” including that which had been deleted.

The discovery of the global espionage ring run by the NSA has been one of the greatest global scandals in recent years; however, with the findings that the Spanish government may have endorsed similar practices, questions may well be raised here too.

However, it is also possible that the equipment could be used for legitimate legal investigations, such as examining data of missing or fatally injured people or in detailing communication in the event of a major case under investigation, or even in investigations relating to pornographic images and their distribution.

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