In Brief

Met Police 'hacked green campaigners' emails'

Whistleblower claims secretive unit illegally monitored hundreds of inboxes for information

Scotland Yard has been accused of using hackers to illegally spy on the emails of Greenpeace protesters and other environmental campaigners.

The allegations were made anonymously by someone who says they worked in the secretive Metropolitan Police unit.

In a letter to Green peer Baroness Jenny Jones, the purported whistleblower claims the Met worked with Indian police who used hackers to to illegally obtain email passwords. The also allege that the unit regularly checked the emails to gather information.

According to The Guardian, which broke the story, the whistleblower said hundreds of environmental campaigners, as well as some reporters and press photographers, had been targeted.

They also gave the passwords of ten people whose email accounts were allegedly hacked.

Six of the ten confirmed to lawyers that the passwords matched the ones they used. The remaining four have not yet been approached or cannot be traced.

The BBC reports the letter also contains allegations that officers from Scotland Yard's National Domestic Extremism and Disorder Intelligence Unit "shredded documents to cover up the monitoring, despite being ordered to preserve them".

The information has been passed to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), which is now investigating.

A spokesman said: "We have begun an independent investigation related to anonymous allegations concerning the accessing of personal data. We are still assessing the scope of the investigation and so we are not able to comment further."

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