Friday, March 23, 2012

It's Law

The Bill passed its third and final reading on Thursday 22nd March.

Judith Collins, Minister of Justice, says that it achieves the right balance between protecting the rights of citizens and the needs for modern search and surveillance. She is totally wrong.

The Search and Surveillance Bill is a fundamental shift in state powers.

This act radically alters not only key concepts of justice, but also the boundaries of search and surveillance. Under this Act police and State surveillance becomes even more entrenched in society. It legalises current surveillance and pushes the boundaries of what is acceptable even further into the realm of State control. It drastically extends powers of police and numerous other State agencies.

Police and State agencies will have even more powers to spy and surveil people. The police and others have more power to do unwarranted searches and surveillances. Human intervention devices (spies) need no warrant and have no time-limit on how long they can operate. The road-blocks seen in Ruatoki on 15th October 2007 can become the norm. The list of powers given to the police and other agencies is atrocious.

The Bill also attacks core concepts of 'justice', including the loss of right to silence and the right not to self-incriminate. The old adage of innocent until proven guilty becomes guilty until you can prove your innocence.

This Bill sees a fundamental shift in the balance of powers - we must continue to battle it.

The Act must be trashed.