The Register has an OutLaw article about the illegality of the FlexiSPY mobile phone snooping software within the legal jurisdiction of the United Kingdom.
They rightly point out that using this software on a UK mobile phone clearly constitutes "electronic interception", and, unless it is done by law enforcement or intelligence agencies under a warrant signed by the Home Secretary, it could attract a penalty of up to 2 years in prison., under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA).
Regular readers of Spy Blog will recall that the jurisdiction claimed by the UK Government , under RIPA section 2 Meaning and location of "interception" etc.. covers the entire universe e.g.
"telecommunication system" means any system (including the apparatus comprised in it) which exists (whether wholly or partly in the United Kingdom or elsewhere) for the purpose of facilitating the transmission of communications by any means involving the use of electrical or electro-magnetic energy.
The quote from the Home Office spokesperson,
The Home Office confirmed that Vervata was not committing an offence under RIPA.
seems to whitewash the role of the the UK / Thailand based software developers Vervata, as it does not give the whole legal background. They do not seem to know even which laws the Home Office is supposed to be in charge of, let alone the rest of Government.
Since the FlexiSPY software secretly sends off its spy reports via the bugged mobile phone itself, using GPRS, it will (as stated by the manufacturers) attract a Data Call Charge as well.
This is better known as telephone fraud.
We therefore think that sections 125 and 126 of the Communications Act 2003 apply to both to the manufacturers of FlexiSPY, namely Verdata , and to any of their customers who purchase their software.
These sections attract a criminal penalty of up to 5 years in prison and / or a fine.
This law has already been used to sucessfully prosecute someone for abusing an "open" WiFi wireless network connected to the internet.
Section 125 Dishonestly obtaining electronic communications services
and Section 126 Possession or supply of apparatus etc. for contravening s. 125:
These sections are written in the usual NuLabour Government "infinite powers" style of legislation, including catch-all words like "anything" and "knows or believes" and "for a purpose connected with".
Note that mere "possession" is illegal, even if the FlexiSPY software is never installed or used.: