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Right of Search: Computers

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 4 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the Government plans to introduce legislation to require the police and security forces to obtain a warrant before remotely accessing web users' hard drives. (252558)

No. There is already legislation which governs this issue. Remote police interference with a computer would require authorisation under Part III of the Police Act 1997, from a chief constable. Any such authorisation must also be notified to a Commissioner from the independent Office of Surveillance Commissioners. The Intelligence and Security Agencies would require a warrant authorised by the Secretary of State under the Intelligence Services Act 1994.