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British Spies Could Soon Be Allowed To Legally Hack Your Phone

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You can practically hear George Orwell spinning in his grave.

New laws set to be outlined next month will allow the likes of GCHQ, MI5 and MI6 (the 'good guys') to legally 'hack' people's smartphones - accessing data, documents and even take control of your camera to take covert snaps.

The new investigatory powers bill, mentioned in the Queen's speech at the opening of parliament back in May, will rub privacy campaigners up the wrong way when it's unveiled by the Conservative party next month. It's believed that the bill's new details will give security services a "dizzying" array of powers, to remotely access phones and computers to install software and track suspects - measures that are legally questionable at present.

By clarifying what groups such as GCHQ are allowed to do in the name of counter-terrorism, devices such as iPhones could have their security faults legally exploited by government services. 

An independent reviewer of terrorism legislation David Anderson told The Times that hacking "presents a dizzying array of possibilities to the security and intelligence agencies".

It's yet to be seen whether David Cameron will make good on his threats to outlaw encrypted messaging services such as Whatsapp, which make it deliberately harder for messages to be accessed by people other than those they were sent to. 

You can expect privacy campaigners to renew their battle for the 'right for privacy' when the new bill arrives next month.

We're off to collect together some tin cans and buy some string.

[Via: The Times]

 

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