Feeds

Police want new remote hard drive search powers

New laws aim to tackle backlogs

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Cyber cops want new laws to allow remote searches of seized hard drives in the hope they will help reduce long digital forensics backlogs - of up to two years for some forces.

It would mean specialised officers in London could access data held on hard drives in police evidence rooms nationally. How such information sharing would work technically hasn't been decided.

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) is working with the Attorney General's office on what changes to data law would be needed to allow the new Metropolitan Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU) to gather intelligence from around the country.

Detective Superintendent Charlie McMurdie, the head of PCeU, said at Infosec on Tuesday such powers would help the new unit get more up-to-date intelligence on online frauds. She said backlogs of unsearched seized hard drives were typically 18 to 24 months for the UK's 43 police forces.

A spokesman for PCeU declined to provide further details of the ongoing legal work, which would require Parliamentary approval, saying it was too early to comment.

ACPO said: "ACPO e-crime committee is currently working with the Attorney-General’s Office on a range of issues; including whether changes to the law are required. As work is currently underway, we are unable to provide any further details at this time."

At present, the proposed legislative changes don't appear to be related to EU moves to step up hacking of PCs in homes and offices by police.

PCeU, which was formed six months ago, has 20 full time network investigators who it is hoped would carry out remote intelligence work if new legislation was brought in. The unit was set up to fill in the gap in policing e-crime when the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit was assimilated by the Serious and Organised Crime Agency in 2006.

McMurdie also appealed yesterday for volunteer help from industry, citing limited resources. PCeU has £3.5m in funding from the Home Office over the next two and a half years.

Earlier in the day, former Home Secretary David Blunkett said he hoped PCeU would receive more funding. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.