No offense taken - I do see the whole trojan surveillance issue as being a very important issue for multiple reasons.
For example, many people are having their laughs on the low level of technical expertise being used in this trojan. A few ones are also laughing about how these trojans have been installed (e.g. in one case, a customs officer at an airport wanted to do some extensive checks on one suspect's notebook; the suspect handed them the notebook, the officer left for a few minutes into another room and returned the notebook).
A different, but very worrying view are the legal issues and the tendencies of politicians. A few politicians do want this kind of spyware for years. A few years ago, the constitutional court did decide on exactly what kinds of actions may be exercised by such a surveillance software and what actions are clearly forbidden. However, exactly the same government who triggered this court decision did ignore those decisions. The Chaos Computer Club has been checking multiple versions of the same spyware, and all of them do completely ignore any court decisions.
Merely a little more than just a year ago, Germany's federal president resigned after an unlucky notion in a radio interview, which doesn't exactly match the ideas of the constitution and the rule of the german defence-only army. A few weeks later, the minister of defence Guttenberg states an even bolder statement of the same issue and is being applauded for this. However, plagiarism in his doctorate thesis effectively makes him resign a few months later: at first, the minister strictly denies everything, later choses to "temporarily" no longer use his doctorate title, then asks the university to withdraw the title. In the end, he's asking the chancellor to accept his resignment.
With the trojan spyware issue, about every state and federal politician did deny usage of this software, then denied the results of the analysis, later somehow acknowledged the results and even later acknowledged that this software has actively been used by more government agencies than estimated. The scheme of answers is the very same like with Guttenberg's doctorate plagiarism, but the actual crime strictly is a violation of a constitutional court's decision. Nobody resigned.
Back in 2008, the constitutional court also decided federal election laws to be flawed and gave politicians three years to resolve those issues. The deadline for this expired this summer. So the very next federal elections may easily be revoked. What does it tell you when a government does ignore multiple decisions of its highest courts and as such, ignoring certain ideas and aspects of their own constitution?
During the past 30 years or so, the Chaos Computer Club also became a very valuable, non-biased and honored source in expertise on IT security for media, politics, regular and highest courts, but exactly once their analysis on "governmental spyware" appeared, quite a few politicians cried that you can't trust those ideas and fantasys of some weird kind of club who do claim chaos in their title. So actually, those politicians are actually trying to defame the Chaos Computer Club.
I am not a security expert, but highly doubt this Trojan could be created for Linux. Which distribution would it target? How would it gain access to root to install the Trojan? I am sure there are loopholes, and suppose they exploited one; the very moment someone finds it, that loophole is getting patched. What does MS do? They send law enforcement to arrest yet another "malware crime ring". See the problem here?
One of the samples of the current surveillance software has been retrieved from a notebook; the software has been installed by customs officers at an airport, who did some "extensive checks" in another room. To me, this reads like the owner handed his notebook to those customs officers and they've been using some kind of bootable USB stick or the like to install into the Trojan into the likely non-encrypted filesystem.
A similar linux version wouldn't have to target a specific distro, a security issue or a loophole. So when someone gets physical access to your notebook, he could easily boot the box off a CD to replace /sbin/init by some kind of statically linked rootkit - there's no need for a root password, exploit or loophole once you already do have physical access and may simply mount the filesystem. And while they're at it, they may mess around with the rpm or dpkg database in order to correct any MD5 checksums and tagging /sbin/init as being a part of sysvinit or upstart release 66.6, so you likely won't receive any distro-updates to those packages for ages. I guess average linux users wouldn't notice a trojan installed that way and "only" during some major distro upgrade, things may break.
Another way were to replace the kernel binary on hard disk with a specific rootkit-kernel. This way, one might also access encrypted blockdevices or filesystems.
So probably about the only ways to protect from such threats were to strictly use encrypted blockdevices on hard disk and load the system kernel from a USB stick. The USB stick is only required for booting and may be removed after boot. So if some customs officer wants to take a closer look at your notebook, you may hand them the notebook - it isn't able to boot and its encrypted drive won't enable them to install a rootkit.
On a sidenote, for at least 30 years or so german students in school classes after elementary school do attend 4-6 years of english language courses, usually a couple of hours per week.
East or West Germany? Something tells me that East Germany had a different education system. Again, the joke is not about them. I myself have an accent when speaking Americano.
Until 20 years ago, students in West Germany have been learning English, while students in East Germany have been learning Russian. After Germany has been united, schools in East Germany pretty soon started offering English courses. However, I've been in West-German schools and back in 1989, my school also started offering russian language courses. I guess this is linked to Russia's era of Perestroika/Glasnost.
A co-worker of mine came from East Germany and did only attend two years or so of english lessons at school. He also attended the "business english" courses being offered in the office, but still was somehow uncomfortable actually speaking English. Nevertheless, he didn't have much trouble resolving technical and work-related issues with colleagues from the U.S. via email or ticketing systems.
On the other hand, he was fluently speaking in russian with another co-worker who came to Germany from the country of Ukraine and who has been about the same level of being uncomfortable in speaking german than he was with speaking English. In terms of business and economy, former russian countries also do come closer to Europe, so in the end, both English and Russian have been proven to be important languages in business (at least to those Europeans who live between "western" and "eastern" Europe).