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Surveillance law review worries Greens

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 28/06/2016

Greens co-leader Metiria Turei: <span style="font-size:13px;">The Greens suspect a review of search and surveillance laws could mean they're going to be strengthened.</span> © RNZ / Elliot Childs The Greens suspect a review of search and surveillance laws could mean they're going to be strengthened. The Greens are worried a review of search and surveillance laws means they could be strengthened.

Justice Minister Amy Adams announced the statutory review on Tuesday, saying it would focus on the impact new technology has had on the way people share huge amounts of information.

But Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei is suspicious and says it could be geared towards extending "dodgy surveillance powers" rather than constraining them.

"Security agencies need to prove to New Zealanders that they can be trusted, not the other way around," she said.

"There is no evidence that justifies broadening existing search and surveillance powers."

The Search and Surveillance Act 2012 governs police and government agency powers to search people or property and to investigate and prosecute crime.

It was brought in to give more order and clarity to powers that existed under 69 separate laws.

A four-year review of the Act is required to get underway by June 30.

Ms Adams says new technology has changed the type of information that law enforcement agencies may need to access, and can pose challenges to their ability to access it.

"When considering these issues, it's important to take into account the potential implications for people's privacy, as well as other rights the Act recognises," she said.

The review will also look at any issues courts may have highlighted.

Public submissions will be sought later this year and a final report is due in June 2017.

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