Monday, Jan 5, 2008
Police could routinely hack into personal computers without the need for a warrant under new plans from the European Union.
The technique, known as “remote searching” involves bugging computers in homes and offices in order to monitor website use and email traffic.
The Home Office is backing proposals by the EU council of ministers to extend electronic surveillance on private property.
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It would allow other European nations to request surveillance by British police.
The proposals have raised concerns among civil liberties groups and Shami Chakrabati, director of Liberty, said: “These are very intrusive powers, as intrusive as someone busting down your door and coming into your home.
“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.”
Dominic Grieve, the shadow home secretary, said the proposals may benefit law enforcement but added: “The exercise of such intrusive powers raises serious privacy issues. The government must explain how they would work in practice and what safeguards will be in place to prevent abuse.”
This article was posted: Monday, January 5, 2009 at 5:01 am