icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

British police can now remotely disable mobile phones

British police can now remotely disable mobile phones
The legislation, passed in late April, contains a section stating police can order the shutdown of communications on a mobile phone if it is found to be used by a person involved in drug dealing.

The power also allows authorities to restrict or disable a person’s mobile phone communications if they are suspected of even being associated with drug-dealing activity, whether or not they have actually committed a crime, according to Motherboard.

It is hoped the law will crack down on so-called “deal-lines” used by gangs to remotely deal drugs in rural areas. According to the government, these gangs exploit children and vulnerable people as couriers, using “specific” mobile numbers.

The Home Office told the Independent that police have yet to acquire the powers, as “the introduction of powers included within Acts are often staggered and further details will be developed by the next government.”

Regulations will have to be approved by both houses of Parliament before offices can start targeting phones.Officers would not be able to disable devices directly. The Director General or Deputy Director General of the National Crime Agency, or a police officer of the rank of superintendent or above, would have to apply for a court order that would then be sent to a telecommunications provider.Privacy groups are likely to be concerned by the new law.

“It is hard to argue that this pre-crime intrusion into individual liberty is necessary and proportionate when it can be authorized ‘whether or not an offence is committed,’” Myles Jackman, legal director for the Open Rights Group, told Motherboard.

“This is an entirely unprecedented and potentially draconian power allowing police to prevent the use of phones or other communications devices, whether or not an offence is committed,” he added.

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.

Podcasts