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

Gordon Campbell: On The Perils Of Declaring Premature Victory

Sure enough, Saturday’s Vaxathon was a barrel of fun and a throwback not merely to the Telethons of the past. It also revived memories of those distant days of early 2020, when we were all carefully wiping down our groceries, not touching our faces, washing our hands for 20 seconds and responding to level four lockdowns by putting teddy bears in the window for the benefit of the little kids walking by in their family bubbles. Those were the days, when the Team of Five Million felt like a real, organic thing... More>>

RNZ: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces Cabinet decision on Covid-19 alert levels

Northland will move to level 2 at 11.59pm on 19 October. Waikato will be held at level 3, to be reviewed on Friday. Auckland will remain in level 3 with current restrictions for another two weeks... More>>



Government: Red Tape Cut To Boost Housing Supply
First home buyers are set to benefit from changes to planning rules being advanced by the Government and the National Party that will enable more medium density housing and cut red tape that acts as a barrier to development... More>>


Economy: Inflation highest in over a decade
The consumers price index rose 2.2 percent in the September 2021 quarter, the biggest quarterly movement since a 2.3 percent rise in the December 2010 quarter, Stats NZ said today. Excluding quarters impacted by increases to GST rates, the September quarter movement was the highest since the June 1987 quarter... More>>


Government: New Zealand Increases Climate Aid Contribution

The Government is making a four-fold increase in the support it provides to countries most vulnerable to the climate emergency, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Climate Change Minister James Shaw announced today... More>>

Pay Cheque To Pay Cheque: Half A Million New Zealanders Have No Savings
New findings from the Consumer NZ sentiment tracker found that 15% of New Zealanders had no savings, and a further 27% were anxious about their level of savings and would like to have more tucked away... More>>

Government: Mandatory Vaccination For Two Workforces

Large parts of two workforces critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19 will be required to be vaccinated, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Our education and health and disability workforces have done an incredible job throughout this pandemic to keep themselves and people safe,” Chris Hipkins said.... More>>

Green Party: Deeply Concerned Space Launches May Be Breaching Nuclear-free Laws

The Green Party is deeply concerned that space launches by Rocket Lab may be breaching nuclear-free laws, given our long-standing position as a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty... More>>




InfoPages News Channels