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


Privacy Commissioner On Mobil Phones In Prison


Members of Parliament should hesitate before accepting novel recommendations of the Select Committee which will enable prison officers to intercept mobile telephone calls.

The recommendation of the Justice and Law Reform Committee appears to anticipate problems about the use of mobile phones without having publicly explored other means for dealing with the problem. The Committee should inquire into the state of prison security which allows access to hidden cellphones in prisons and seek technological solutions which do not involve eavesdropping on calls made or received by people in the vicinity of a prison.

For instance the people of Epsom and Mt Eden may have their mobile calls arbitrarily scanned by a prison officer. Will motorists on the southern motorway also risk being overheard by prison officers? It appears that this monitoring will take place only on a haphazard basis without the controls imposed by the bill in respect of landline calls made out of prisons by inmates. (In the case of those calls a centralised system will cover all prisons and calls will be properly recorded.)

This proposal is an extraordinary departure in a free society where judicial warrants are mandatory for interception of private communications by the police. Without such warrants prison officers may, in the search for secret mobile calls from within prisons, be given access to millions of telephone calls being made by citizens in the normal course of their business each year. This state intrusion appears to be an enthusiastic extension of the bill by Members of Parliament without time for public debate shortly before an election. The matter is not one that requires immediate attention. The Committee recommendations in this respect ought to be dropped until there has been adequate time for investigation and consideration of them and alternatives canvassed.

These provisions were not put out for public submissions. It is quite wrong to rush them through without adequate scrutiny.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news