Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


High tech fight at the border

High tech fight at the border

Customs says that advances in technology have made it easier for offenders to find, store, and share objectionable material such as child sexual abuse images.

Customs Manager Border Operations, Shane Panettiere says that Customs is responding to this challenge with an increased and necessary focus on computers, smart phones and other electronic items at the border.

Last year, Customs detained 295 computers and 548 electronic devices for detailed examination of equipment that were suspected to contain objectionable material or other evidence of border offending.

In 2013, targeted searches of passengers’ luggage at airports led to a number of arrests, including a German tourist who was jailed for importing objectionable publications and images after Customs found over 35,000 child sexual abuse images on his laptop.

“Storing or sharing images of children being sexually abused is as abhorrent as undertaking the actual abuse. Demand for such miserable imagery creates a supply.

“We have to remember that this imagery is not victimless. An infant, child or young person is being sexually tortured or abused for the pleasure of others,” Mr Panettiere says.

“Adding to this misery is the fact that once in the public domain, these images never go away and the victims have to live with this fact for the rest of their lives.”

Mr Panettiere says Customs looks closely at around 0.8 per cent of selected travellers from the 10 million passengers travelling through our airports.

Customs’ interaction can be based on current information held including that received from other domestic or overseas agencies, but may also occur if a border official has concerns about a passenger’s reasons for travel.

“Those who don’t break the law have nothing to worry about. We need to do this to identify and deal with those criminals causing harm in our global communities,” Mr Panettiere says.

“Customs officers do their best to ensure that the searches are not overly intrusive and are done in a reasonable manner with proper regard for the privacy of the person who owns the device.”

Combating the trade of objectionable material, such as child sexual abuse images, is a priority and Customs continues to focus its efforts against this crime along with the Police and Internal Affairs.

The current maximum penalty for possessing, importing or exporting objectionable material is five years imprisonment, and 10 years for distribution. The Objectionable Publications and Indecency Legislation Bill to be enacted by June will increase penalties to 10 years and 14 years respectively.

- ends -

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Wellington.Scoop: Serco – First The Prisons, And Now It Wants To Run The Trains

As the government continues its inquiry into Serco’s discredited administration of Mt Eden prison in Auckland, here in Wellington there’s further scrutiny of the British outsourcing company – because it’s competing to take over the running of our commuter trains. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Countdown, And Mary Margaret O’Hara

To date, the Key government has been unwilling to share any information about this TPP deal until it is too late for outraged public opinion to affect the outcome... the disclosure process is likely to consist of a similarly skewed and careful exercise in spin. More>>


Australia Deportations: English Relaxed On Immigration Centre Conditions

Labour's Annette King: “There have been numerous reports from inside these detention centres on just how bad conditions are... If they were being held in any other foreign jail, I imagine Mr English would be somewhat concerned. More>>


Schools: Achievement-Based Funding Would Be A Disaster

The Education Minister’s speech to the PPTA Conference raising the spectre of achievement data driving a new funding system would be disastrous, says NZEI Te Riu Roa. More>>

  • Video Out-Link - PPTA Annual Conference 2015 on Livestream (Q+A dicussion suggests funding would be directed to less successful schools.)

  • ALSO:

    ECE Report:

    Key In NY: Prime Minister Addresses United Nations

    Prime Minister John Key has addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York, focusing on a call for action in Syria and on other conflicts, reform of the veto process and on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. More>>.


    Gordon Campbell: On The Lack Of Accountability Over Philip Smith

    In New Zealand, accountability is an exotic creature rarely glimpsed at ministerial level, or among senior management. The flight to Rio by the paedophile /murderer Philip John Smith/Traynor is no exception. More>>


    More On Corrections

    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news