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Covert Investigation

Covert Investigation

Clive Harfield and Karen Harfield
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date: 02 December 2023

p. 1469 Covert Investigation Involving Computerslocked

p. 1469 Covert Investigation Involving Computerslocked

  • Clive Harfield
  •  and Karen Harfield


This chapter explores how computers can be the scene of a crime, the means by which a crime is planned or committed, a means of communication when facilitating a conspiracy, and a means of investigating crime. It discusses covert investigation which engages computers both as the object under investigation and as a tool used by investigators. It also emphasizes the importance of precision in the drafting of applications and authorities relating to computers, noting the multiple roles of the computer within covert investigation. The chapter illustrates the covert examination of computers involving some form of interference with the target computer, constituting an offence under the Computer Misuse Act 1990. It includes the equipment interference warrant, which allows a range of methods or conduct to be used to obtain communications, equipment data, or other information.

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