The UK Home Office has increased the powers of police, by allowing them to routinely hack into citizens’ personal computers without even a court warrant. The technique, popularly referred to as “remote searching”, includes intruding into computers in offices and homes, so as to monitor email and web traffic.
The move, which is in line with the decision of European Union’s ministers in Brussels, has sparked resentment among several civil rights groups and opposition MPs.
According to EU’s recent proclamation, police across different member states of EU have been permitted to extend the scope of ‘intrusive surveillance of private property’ without a court warrant, and it will allow police forces from Germany, France, and other EU members to ask UK police to hack computers of users in UK.
Remote searching is usually carried out by sending an email consisting of a bug to suspect’s PC, which eventually passes on the required information, such as internet-browsing habits and email contents, to a distant surveillance squad.
In addition, this can also be achieved by inserting ‘key-logging’ applications into a computer that transmits details about every key hit by the user. Expressing anger over the new law, Liberty’s director Shami Chakrabarti said in a statement, “This is no different from breaking down someone’s door, rifling through their paperwork and seizing their computer hard drive”.
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This new decision could have a profound impact on the way democracy works in this country since it could give rise to abuse, especially if left unchecked. The recent arrest of Conservative frontbench MP Damian Green together with the subsequent controversy that followed exemplifies this.
(News Post Online)
(World Net Daily)