Police “Hacking”

There’s an interesting story in The Times today about police forces in the UK and “remote searches” of a suspect’s PC.

It doesn’t need a court warrant, just for a senior officer to say he “believes” that it is “proportionate” and necessary to prevent or detect serious crime — which is defined as any offence attracting a jail sentence of more than three years. So, no chance of any abuse of the system there, then. *cough*

This development isn’t new – it’s been in place since an amendment to the Computer Misuse Act 1990 in 1994 which made hacking legal if it was authorised and carried out by the state.

However, I wonder what happens if the suspect being “remote searched” has a firewall and/or secure wireless network (or no wireless network at all) which prevents that remote search. Can they then also be charged with refusing/blocking a ‘legitimate’ search, in the same way you can if you refuse to be stop-and-searched?

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