Breaking into computer systems

Intelligence agencies are able to remotely break into computer systems to access communications and other types of data on those systems. Section 10 of the Computer Misuse Act 1990 (CMA) exempts law enforcement powers of inspection, search and seizure from its prohibitions on unauthorized access to computer material. Such access would require a combined RIPA s.32 intrusive surveillance and Police Act Part III/Intelligence Services Act s.5 authorization. However, there is currently no mechanism by which the use of Trojan horses or similar to obtain data can be protected against action for a breach of s.3 CMA.


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