London Metropolitan Police unit caught spying on activists and journalists
In 2017, an anonymous whistleblower sent a letter to Green party peer Jenny Jones alleging that a secretive Scotland Yard unit was illegally monitoring the private emails of campaigners and journalists. The letter included a list of ten people and the passwords to their email accounts and claimed the police were using an India-based operation that did the work of hacking emails, shredding documents, and using sex as a method of infiltration. Jones's background includes a decade on the Metropolitan Police Authority, during which time the police put her on the domestic extremism database. Among the names was that of Ciaron O'Reilly, a Ploughshares and Catholic Worker organiser, and a key supporter of Julian Assange. O'Reilly was one of seven of the people on the list who volunteered passwords that matched or closely resembled those on the list. Also on the list were Colin Newman, a volunteer organiser of Greenpeace protests and fellow Greenpeace activist Cat Dorey.
The matter was passed to the Independent Police Complaints Commission for investigation.
Writer: Rob Evans, Joshua Robertson