Friday, September 30, 2011

What's at stake in surveillance-law wrangle

From the NZHerald: "The Government's bill to legalise covert state video surveillance is more than just the balancing act between civil liberties and police powers to investigate crime.

It is also about police reputation, good constitutional practice and the law-making powers of Parliament and the Supreme Court.

In a decision known as Hamed, the Supreme Court on September 2 found that covert video surveillance on private property was illegal, even under a search warrant.

Crown Law advice is that all trespassory video surveillance is illegal, and "over the fence" surveillance (filming from a public place, or from private land with the owner's consent) is likely to be illegal too.

Police immediately turned off the video cameras in 13 current operations, and have held off starting 15 operations.

Forty-seven pending trials involving 229 suspects involve evidence gathered by hidden cameras, and these have all been put on hold.

The Security Intelligence Service, Customs and Fisheries are also affected ..."

To continue reading the story, click here.


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