Investigations – interception of communications

After “UK Releases Details, But Delays, Plan To Surveil Every Bit Of Communication” (TechDirt, 17 October 2008),
it seems to finally come into force “UK Police Now Allowed To Hack Home PCs Without Court Approved Warrant” (TechDirt, 5 January 2009)
Police set to step up hacking of home PCs” (Times, 4 January 2009)

Plan to extend police-hacking powers gathers pace ” (, 5 January 2009)

However, I have a problem with the way the issue is presented. The Home Office has no legislative power; the main legislation regulating this area is the RIPA 2000 and statutory instruments implementing the legislation have to comply with its requirement. If the Home Office’s plan becomes/is a SI, then the question is whether the RIPA provides sufficient protection.

Concerning the Brussels’ move, note it is not EU Parliament but the Council of Minister’s decision. It is extremely controversial if it is a means to avoid legislation restricting covert operations. Note that the ECHR Court is extremely severe in its safeguard of privacy against covert investigations.


About Audrey Guinchard

Senior Lecturer @ University of Essex (UK)
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