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IPCC Probes Claims Met Police Outsourced Email Hacking to India

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is investigating whether the Metropolitan Police effectively outsourced the hacking of journalist and activists’ emails to India to skirt domestic laws.

The IPCC confirmed yesterday that it is looking into the allegations, made in an anonymous letter said to have been written by a serving or retired officer.

It urged that person, and any other current or former officers or staff members with information, to come forward.

The statement added:

“The IPCC’s investigation is looking at whether officers from NDEDIU [National Domestic Extremism and Disorder Intelligence Unit] contacted Indian counterparts and if the services of computer hackers in India were obtained to access email accounts. It will also examine if any officers within NDEDIU used any information gained from this contact if it took place.”

The Guardian revealed in March that the whistleblower originally sent the letter to Green Party peer Jenny Jones, who passed it on to the IPCC.

It claimed the NDEDIU, which monitors political activists in the UK, sought help from the Indian police, who in turn enlisted the help of hackers to obtain the log-ins for hundreds of activists and journalists.

These credentials were then allegedly passed back to the Met and used to continuously monitor the email communications of the targets.

“For a number of years the unit had been illegally accessing the email accounts of activists. This has largely been accomplished because of the contact that one of the officers had developed with counterparts in India who in turn were using hackers to obtain email password”, the letter is alleged to have noted.

The IPCC is already investigating allegations of mass document shredding by the Met in 2014 following an insider tip-off.

The irony is that, thanks to the Snoopers’ Charter, the UK police now have some of the most intrusive and extensive surveillance powers of any democracy in the world and so probably won't have to go to such allegedly circuitous lengths in future.

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