The UK Government has admitted to possessing far-reaching hacking powers to break into computers, phones and communications networks anywhere across the globe.
The revelation surfaced after civil rights group Privacy International filed a legal challenge in 2014 questioning the hacking powers of UK government intelligence agency GCHQ. The Government outlined its authority to infiltrate mobile phones, laptops, iPads and networks used on a day-to-day basis.
UK intelligence services need authorisation to hack into devices used by “intelligence targets,” but hold the power to infiltrate computers and mobile phones worldwide – irrespective of whether they are suspected of being linked to a criminal or terrorist threat.
Privacy International, which has long campaigned for increased privacy rights in Britain, said these powers amount to a “massive invasion of privacy.”