Monday, January 5, 2009

British police set to step up hacking of home PCs

Posted by Christian  |  at  5.1.09


    In the U.K of all places. Shocking, I know. So what are some requirements that must be met before the cops are allowed to break into someones home, and place a“key-logging” device into an individual’s computer, for example? 

“To be a valid authorisation, the officer giving it must believe that when it is given it is necessary to prevent or detect serious crime and [the] action is proportionate to what it seeks to achieve,” Acpo said.
   So presumably, it could go something like this. {warning, bad British impression ahead}

cop: "say old chap, I believe I saw a suspicious brown guy today, I did". 

authorization guy: "bloody, do you believe that now?"

cop: "not only that, I believe I can prevent a serious crime, yeah"

authorization guy: "crikey, well get on with it then"
   With such oversight, what could possibly go wrong?
   In May of last year, a masters student at Nottingham University was researching al-Qaida tactics when someone noticed the materials on one of the school's computers and informed police. Without asking questions, despite the fact that the material had come from a U.S government website, Rizwaan Sabir, 22, was arrested and held for nearly a week under the Terrorism Act, accused of downloading the materials for illegal use.

   Even though University supervisors insisted the material was pertinent to the students project, he was still treated like a criminal. And why? Because police believed he was.
Of his detention, Sabir said: "I was absolutely broken. I didn't sleep. I'd close my eyes then hear the keys clanking and I would be up again. As I realised the severity I thought I'd end up in Belmarsh with the nutcases. It was psychological torture.


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