Police are allowed to seize any items that they consider evidence towards an alleged crime. However, thanks to the Investigatory Powers Act (which was nicknamed the Snoopers’ Charter) which came into force in at the end of 2016, law enforcers can now access computers remotely – without the user’s consent or permission being granted from the courts.
Investigatory Powers Act 2016
The 2016 Act was passed by both Houses of Parliament and given royal assent by the Queen. Its aim was to expand the powers of the UK Intelligence Community, to combat terrorism. However, as the police have been given this access, it can now be used against every person with access to a computer in the UK.
With the Investigatory Powers Act now in force, police officers can hack into any private computer and laptop across the UK. This uses remote searching to access personal account and view private information.
While this has courted a lot of controversy in the UK, the new legislation was rolled out quietly, without much publicity. With the issue of privacy no longer existing in Great Britain, police argue that this type of surveillance is a necessity in keeping on top of criminal activity and terrorism.
How to police search a computer?
There are a number of methods for accessing private information on a computer. One of these is carried out by sending a virus on email to a suspect’s computer. This virus then allows the police to monitor emails being sent and received, as well as their browsing habits.
Another method is keylogging – which allows the police to monitor the keys being pressed in order to obtain passwords for sites.
Police Computer Hacking and Court Warrants
There has been a huge uproar about this level of invasion into the privacy of law-abiding Brits. Many civil liberties groups are claiming that this type of power should be granted with a court warrant. Currently no permission is required other than the permission of the Chief Constable.
Police Hacking across Europe
The European Union has now been granted power to request information from police in the UK. Police officers in EU countries can now request that UK police hack into computers to relay information back to them.
UK Personal Computer Information Accessed Across Europe
The information obtained by the police through computer hacking will not just be limited to the UK. The European Union has now been given the power to request this information from UK police. Police authorities in EU countries can now request that UK police hack into certain computers to obtain information. This information will then be passed back to the police in countries in the European Union. This can all happen without the knowledge of the computer user.
All of this can be done without the individual in question ever knowing that their computer is being closely monitored by law enforcers.
If you have any questions regarding your rights regarding your privacy, or if you’ve been arrested following police hacking your computer, you can contact DPP Law on 0333 200 5853 or fill in the form here and we will back as soon as possible.Posted on: Tue, 21 February 2017