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Former spy chief calls for Facebook & Twitter hacking to be sanctioned


By John Glenday | Reporter

April 24, 2012 | 1 min read

Sir David Omand, former head of the GCHQ intelligence service, has said that the organisation needs to utilise the likes of Facebook and Twitter to track social media savvy criminals and terrorists.

Omand warned that such platforms could become “secret spaces” for society’s miscreants to communicate without fear of incurring the wrath of the law.

To counter such a scenario Omand is calling for authority to be given to the agency to allow it to hack into the accounts of individuals under suspicion.

Omand made the suggestion as he launched a report compiled by the think tank Demos which suggests that the Regulatory and Investigatory Powers Act should be harnessed to gain legal access to social media accounts.

This centres on the principle that warrants are not required for the “direct surveillance” of a suspects movements offline, and this should be extended online.

The call comes as the government puts the finishing touches to a new bill which will oblige internet service providers to track where, when and to whom emails are sent.


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