The British government has quietly changed the law so that the intelligence agency GCHQ can not be indicted for hacking.
On March 3, there appears to be a implemented change in the law withholds governments to prosecute intelligence services like GCHQ for illegal hacking operations.
Yesterday, the parties were notified that, only a few weeks after the claim was filed, the Government quietly introduced legislation on 6 June 2014 that would amend the CMA to provide a new exception for law enforcement and GCHQ to hack without criminal liability. The change not only affects Privacy International’s claim, but also grants UK law enforcement new leeway to potentially conduct cyber attacks within the UK.
This is not the first time that the British government had tried to implement new laws without telling the outside world.
This is not the Government’s first attempt to make “under the radar” changes to UK law in connection with this claim. On 6 February 2015, the Government released a draft Equipment Interference Code of Practice, which it claimed mirrors internal GCHQ guidance. Despite this, the Government is refusing to disclose GCHQ’s earlier versions of the Code, or reveal when it was first drafted, claiming to do so would damage national security.