Sunday, January 4, 2009

Some of you are probably familiar with certain law enforcement trends beginning in Great Britain, and then finding their way over here.

How long until this starts here.

This article below is from TECH.BLORGE.COM

January 4, 2009 |

British police now able to remotely hack PCs without a warrant

By Dave Parrack

The idea of freedom is a hard one to quantify. What someone in the UK constitutes as freedom may be very different to what someone in China thinks of as freedom. But having your personal computer hacked into surely goes beyond the boundaries considered by most to be acceptable in so-called free countries. But that is exactly what the British police can now do, and they don’t even need a warrant to do so.

I’ve been getting increasingly concerned by the encroachments into freedoms, privacy laws, and civil liberties we’ve seen in the west over the past few years. Basically, in the name of “the war on terror”, many rights to privacy and freedom we would have once held dear have been banished to history.

It’s as though law-abiding citizens are meant to just sit back and let their governments and authorities walk all over long-established laws. Any notion of complaining is quickly put down when it’s then assumed that having a problem with these new measures is tantamount to admitting wrongdoing. Which is far from the truth.

The latest move towards a police state, at least here in the UK, is a new policy of allowing the police to hack into and monitor someone’s PC purely because they suspect serious wrongdoing. What’s scary is that unlike a physical search of a property, no court-issued warrant is required, with the intrusive and covert surveillance being allowed on the say so of a senior officer.

According to Times Online, the hacking is known rather obliquely as ‘remote searching’ allows police officers or MI5 agents to snoop into a suspect’s computer hard drive from hundreds of miles away. All Web-browsing activity, email correspondence, and instant messaging conversations can be tracked with the person being snooped not knowing anything about it.

‘Remote searching’ or legal hacking can be achieved by either breaking into a suspect’s home and physically installing a key logger on to the targeted machine, sending an email with an attachment that activates when opened, or using a wireless network. Any of these ways surely constitute a misuse of powers.

The Computer Misuse Act of 1990 reportedly made hacking legal if it was carried out by the state. And the British police claim that the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act is in place to keep an eye on activity of this kind to ensure it stayed within the lines of moral and legal obligations. But when those lines are becoming more and more blurred, is that really much of a comfort?


Cygnus MacLlyr said...

VERY scary stuff, man.The "patriot" Act, the War on Terror... and suzie q public sitting around like the world is as written in "Farenheit 451" or (Orwell's) "1984"

So, you and me conversing via this medium-- the blogosphrere-- and not being so ken on Big Brother... alls 'he' has to do is claim "see how against us these are..." ; and when he edits and packages our comments a-la the news/press style...

We're in dire straits here. And without a voice, once they can watch us with no permission



Bullseye said...

Now that sucks a Biggin. Pretty sure it will make it across the water if ya know what I mean. Sorry world I tell ya.