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A Defence lawyer's perspective on issues in criminal law

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Judges Lack Knowledge to Oversee Hacking Software Used by Calgary Police

July 31, 2015

The Calgary Police Service claims they cannot reveal what, if any, types of hacking software they are using, for security reasons. However many political officials believe the police force should have greater transparency and accountability for their allocation of taxpayer-provided funds.

Hacking software used by law enforcement agencies around the world gives police the ability to intercept phone calls, text messages and passwords from devices they have infiltrated. Certain programs also give them the ability to remotely turn on a device’s webcam and microphone.

Of major concern is that these programs be used within proper context of the law; many are worried that judges will be unable to properly oversee the use of interceptive technologies.

It is difficult to understand the way these software programs operate and how exactly they will be used. Judges are not known to be tech-savvy, so it is important that they carefully study the ins and outs of hacking software being used by Calgary police in order to ensure its legality.

It is also of utmost importance for the police commission to protect the public’s right to privacy, so every time law enforcement officials want to use methods that may be considered a breach of privacy, a judge must be consulted first.

It may not be advisable to release information about specific programs to the public, but a judge must be involved if Calgary Police or other law enforcement agencies want to use the evidence gathered in a court of law.

This entry was posted on July 31, 2015

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