Critics of the government’s new Search and Surveillance Bill are warning of a massive increase in state powers to spy on New Zealanders, and say the proposed law changes need to be stopped.
The bill gives more state agencies the power to tap into personal conversations, hack into computers and install hidden cameras.
Instead of just the police and the intelligence agencies having these rights, all sorts of other agencies like Inland Revenue, the Reserve Bank, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, and even the Pork Industry Board, would have new rights of surveillance.
Last year” NDU Express reported that a police informant had been found to have been prying into NDU and other unions’ affairs for over 10 years.
Community groups, including unions and environmentalists, have criticised the bill, but it’s not just grass-roots campaigners that are concerned.
The Law Society and the Chief Justice have also spoken out against it, and corporate lawyers Chapman Tripp have called it “an extraordinarily wide proposal, of unprecedented invasiveness.”
Likewise, the Human Rights Commission wants changes to the Bill, saying that search and surveillance rules are among the State’s most powerful weapons, and are open to abuse if sufficient human rights safeguards are not put in place.
On the web:” www.october15thsolidarity.info/surveillance