Tuesday, 6 January 2009

New police powers to hack without a warrant

The Home Office has quietly adopted a new plan to allow police across Britain routinely to hack into people’s personal computers without a warrant, according to the Times.

The articles goes on:

"The hacking is known as “remote searching”. It allows police or MI5 officers who may be hundreds of miles away to examine covertly the hard drive of someone’s PC at his home, office or hotel room.

"Material gathered in this way includes the content of all e-mails, web-browsing habits and instant messaging."

Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, the human rights group, said she would challenge the legal basis of the move. “These are very intrusive powers – as intrusive as someone busting down your door and coming into your home,” she said.

“The public will want this to be controlled by new legislation and judicial authorisation. Without those safeguards it’s a devastating blow to any notion of personal privacy.”

She said the move had parallels with the warrantless police search of the House of Commons office of Damian Green, the Tory MP: “It’s like giving police the power to do a Damian Green every day but to do it without anyone even knowing you were doing it.”

Thanks to Andy.

1 comment:

Andy Maggs said...

What is very disturbing about this particular power is that it has been granted by the EU rather than our own Government who must be thrilled to be able to bypass democracy in this way! Stuff goes on in Brussels we have absolutely no idea about and quite frankly our MEPs leave a lot to be desired (our own fault I suppose as we voted for them).