UK Government Rewrites Laws to Let GCHQ Hack Into Computers Legally

May 17, 2015 – 9:12 AM

The UK Government has been quietly changing the Anti-Hacking Laws quietly that exempt GCHQ, police, and other electronic intelligence agencies from criminal prosecution for hacking into computers and mobile phones and carrying out its controversial surveillance practices.

The details of the changes were disclosed at the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, which is currently hearing a challenge to the legality of computer hacking by UK law enforcement and its intelligence agencies.

About a year ago, a coalition of Internet service providers teamed up with Privacy International to take a legal action against GCHQ for its unlawful hacking activities.

However, the Government amended the Computer Misuse Act (CMA) two months ago to give GCHQ and other intelligence agencies more protection through a little-noticed addition to the Serious Crime Bill.

The change was introduced on June 6, just weeks after the complaint was filed by Privacy International that GCHQ had conducted computer hacking to gather intelligence that was unlawful under the CMA.

The bill that would allow GCHQ and other intelligence officers to hack without any criminal liability was passed into law on March 3, 2015 and became effective on 3rd of this month.



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