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Privacy Groups Accuse British Intelligence Agency of Hacking

 Privacy Groups Accuse British Intelligence Agency of HackingPrivacy International, a London-based advocacy group, sued the GCHQ and the NSA over  surveillance techniques on citizens, following revelations by Edward Snowden.

The group filed a legal complaint accusing the British intelligence agency of using invasive surveillance techniques to hack citizen’s personal devices, such as implanting malware, without legal grounds.

“If the interception of communications is the modern equivalent of wire-tapping, then the activity at issue in this complaint is the modern equivalent of entering someone’s house, searching through his filing cabinets, diaries and correspondence, and planting devices to permit constant surveillance in future, and, if mobile devices are involved, obtaining historical information including every location he had visited in the past year,” the privacy campaigners said.

The group lists the programs that allegedly accessed people’s private data without their consent, such as Nosey Smurf, allowing hackers to take over a target’s microphone, Tracker Smurf, used to track a target’s location, and Gumfish, used to take over a target’s webcam.

Privacy International says that data-gathering, unless justified by national security objectives, violates articles 8 and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protect people’s rights to privacy and freedom of expression.

The group says the hacking techniques should be outlawed and the data collected, permanently deleted.

Privacy International is a UK charity working on the right to privacy at an international level.

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Content Specialist

Alexandra started writing about IT at the dawn of the decade – when an iPad was an eye-injury patch, we were minus Google+ and we all had Jobs. She has since wielded her background in PR and marketing communications to translate binary code to colorful stories that have been known to wear out readers’ mouse scrolls. Alexandra is also a social media enthusiast who `likes’ only what she likes and LOLs only when she laughs out loud.

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