alerts us to what appear to be rather draconian surveillance powers given to law enforcement in New Zealand
to monitor all sorts of communications:
In preparation, technicians have been installing specialist spying devices and software inside all telephone exchanges, internet companies and even fibre-optic data networks between cities and towns, providing police and spy agencies with the capability to monitor almost all communications.
Police and SIS must still obtain an interception warrant naming a person or place they want to monitor but, compared to the phone taps of the past, a single warrant now covers phone, email and all internet activity.
It can even monitor a person's location by detecting their mobile phone; all of this occurring almost instantaneously.
Apparently, New Zealand is looking to help boost the market for encryption technology. In the meantime, defenders of this law throw out all the clichés:
Police association vice-president Stuart Mills said the new capabilities are required because criminals were using new technologies to communicate, and that people who weren't committing criminal offences had little to fear.
Of course, that statement makes no sense. Just because criminals are using a new technology to communicate it doesn't mean you should have a built in backdoor to monitor all of it. I believe some criminals have used paper to write each other notes. Should we force all pads to have carbon paper for making a copy of every note taken? As for the "if you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to fear" statement, that's been debunked so many times, it's not even worth going there. Yet, if we must, would Police Association Vice President Stuart Mills object to a video camera being placed in every room in his house, recorded 24/7 and kept on file. We promise that no one will look at it without a warrant. He shouldn't object, right, because he's not doing anything wrong at home, so he has little to fear. Right?