Police to poke around PCs* without permission

6 January 2009

They straightened our bananas, they robbed us of our imperial measurements, they've set more directives then there are hairs on a shaggy dog. And now the EU has set in motion a series of events that will allow the police to hack into your PC without permission. It's called remote searching, and such a search can be granted should the plod believe it "necessary to prevent or detect serious crime".

European Union’s council of ministers in Brussels has given the thumbs up to the warrantless intrusive surveillance of private property, allowing foreign police forces to ask British bobbies to hack into someone’s UK computer on their behalf.

Rather understandably, plenty of folk including opposition MPs and civil liberties groups are upset about the decision, because in contrast to the legal safeguards for searching a suspect’s home, police undertaking a remote search don't need to apply to a magistrates’ court for a warrant.

The plans are still under development, and they're only likely to snoop if you're being very, very naughty. That's not the point though, is it?

* PCs as in personal computers; Police Constables are free to poke around one another - they're consenting adults, after all

[The Times]

TOPICS:   World News

10 comments

  • Mike
    "Police Constables are free to poke around one another - they’re consenting adults, after all" The heading says without permission 0_o
  • Dominic
    Is the technology there? If you have up to date virus and spyware scanners with a secure firewall, how exactly are they going to do this? Force everyone to install a trojan?
  • Will
    I don't think hacking into a PC is quite as easy as that, I bloody hope not anyway!
  • Dominic
    Ahh...it becomes clear after reading the Times article. It's not 'hacking' your computer per say, merely trying to get you to install a virus (very ethical, virus scanners can prevent), parking outside your house and hacking your wireless connection (WPA encryption can prevent), or installing keylogging hardware within your computer (impossible without a warrant I would imagine, so redundent).
  • Andre
    WPA can still be cracked, and packet sent wireless between your PC and wireless router can be captured and dycrpyted...
  • worzel
    Who cares? If you have nothing to hide or be worried about does it really matter?
  • Doomy
    mm does having nude pics of your gf or wife for your own viewing pleasure counts as nothing to hide... i would be really upset if some fat cop was enjoying himself without Permission!
  • Chris
    As funny as that was briefly, I agree with Doomy. People may not have "anything to hide" from the law, but it still classes as an invasion of privacy - Much like them setting up video cameras in your home without your permission. I would imagine however that by the time they actually set this up (lets face it, they usually take a few lifetimes) there shoulds hopefully be a few downloadables to prevent them accessing us ;)
  • Mark
    We shouldn't be worried about laws coming in to prevent serious crime. However, it's the constant abuse of laws by the police that cause the concerns. My friend has done criminal searches on old school friends and run licence plates for personal reasons. It's all about who you trust and the police aren't high up on that list for one reason or another. I suppose we can always encrypt our hard drives. Wouldn't help against a key logger though. Do they make encrypted keyboards? Anyway i'm not that concerned I used to run my pc with no firewall and an open wifi. Figured I didn't mind sharing, till I startedd being used remotely to send spam e-mail ;)
  • Ray F.
    Heard some time back that Dell actually install Keyloggers as part of USA's plan on cracking down on terror? Can anyone verify?

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