We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

Police allowed to 'hack' PCs without a warrant

Overseas agencies allowed access to UK PCs

Police have been granted the right to 'hack' any PC without a warrant.

European ministers initially approved the move last month, although the plans are still being developed by the Home Office and EU ministries.

The Home Office has confirmed that any 'hacking' will first have to be approved by a chief constable. It is also thought plans are being drawn up to allow law enforcement agencies from all EU member states to access PCs in the UK, if necessary, during criminal investigations.

Keg-logging software, viruses that transmit information about the content of emails sent and websites browsed and monitoring wireless networks are just some of the methods thought to be used by the police to access computers.

Visit Security Advisor for the latest internet threat news, FREE net threat email newsletters, and internet security products

However, the proposals have raised a number of concerns from civil-liberties groups. Shami Chakrabarti, director of the human rights campaign group Liberty, told the Independent: "This is no different from breaking down someone's door, rifling through their paperwork and seizing their computer hard drive".

"The police service in the United Kingdom will aggressively pursue serious and organised criminality, including where that takes the modern forms of hi-tech crime," added a spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers.

See also: Watch out for hidden cookies

IDG UK Sites

Microsoft Surface 3 UK release date, price and specs: New Surface tablet offers free upgrade to Win?......

IDG UK Sites

It's World Backup Day 2015! Don't wait another minute: back up now

IDG UK Sites

Adobe Comp CC iPad app review

IDG UK Sites

April Fool's Day pranks: play these geeky pranks on April Fools Day and fool your friends