This latest huge bust, in a never-ending series of huge busts, is being touted as a coup in the War on Drugs, begun by Richard Nixon in 1971 – and indeed it is. This is Graham Greene level skullduggery by the boys and girls in blue. Congratulations to all involved.
Let’s stop and consider this. As a citizen of a free country it is my expectation that the state is not going to be listening to my communications without first convincing a judge that there is probable cause to be doing so.
Fireworks aficionado, poster boy for redemption and Libertarian stuntman, Damien Grant, fears a police state, and he should!
Every month there’s a new revelation that the NZ Police are abusing their power.
Last month Northland Police were caught illegally using drink-drive checkpoints to gather intelligence. The cops response was ‘oops’.
The month before that they were caught illegally taking photos of Māori teenagers.
In April their bullshit ‘formal warnings’ system also turned out to be a secret intelligence network…
The police practice of issuing “formal warnings” to people who haven’t been convicted of any crime – and sharing that information with other parties – has been found to be illegal.
In a ruling that could change the way police officers do their job, High Court Judge Paul Davison found that the warnings – issued 20,000 times in the past 10 years – had no basis in statutory or common law and were a breach of the Bill of Rights Act.
Warren Pyke, the lawyer who sought the judicial review for a client who had been issued with one of the warnings, said most people would have no idea that such information was kept and shared.
…so that’s 3 off the record intelligence networks that have all been uncovered in the last 3 months.
Māori youth are targeted and identified illegally on the street and that data kept on an off the record real time system.
Drink-Drive check points are for drink diving NOT for illegal intel gathering!
And ‘formal warning’s have been used as a massive treasure trove of information.
Every single time they get caught, their response is ‘oooops’.
So why on earth would we give the Police enormous omnipotent Eye of Mordor powers with their mass surveillance face recognition tech?
Right now, the NZ Police are using mass surveillance facial recognition software from an Orwellian company that illegally sources photos without any sign off from the Privacy Commissioner or their own Police Boss!
The Police then held a ‘stocktake’ of these types of unapproved face recognition software trials and lo and fucking behold the Police quietly admit to a $9million face recognition network they are setting up with zero oversight from the Privacy Commissioner???
Police have been quietly setting up a $9 million facial recognition system that can take a live feed from CCTV cameras and identify people from it.
This would push New Zealand into new territory for tracking citizens.
It will be run by a non-police contractor – US firm Dataworks Plus – and collect 15,000 facial images a year, with that expected to expand up to 10-fold.
Their latest move is to create some fake watchdog panel over mass surveillance powers that no on gave them!
Let’s not forget their sudden surge of warrantless searches…
…on top of this enormous state surveillance power, there is a constant push from the Maori Party and the SIS to gain even MORE power!
The public must decide if spies should conduct greater data surveillance to identify the next terrorist, Security Intelligence Service director-general Rebecca Kitteridge says.
Six months on from the Royal Commission of Inquiry in the Christchurch mosque terror attacks, Kitteridge wants to have a public campaign, akin to that of the Covid-19 pandemic, to talk about the possible “technology-privacy trade off” and unite New Zealanders behind national security threats.
…I spy with my 5 eyes, something beginning with 1984!
We have the capacity to catch terrorists by using the existing powers focused differently, not by importing Orwell’s Big Sister!
If any other political party asked to create a secret police force that hunts for word crimes and thought criminals there would be rioting in the street but because it’s the Maori Party and it’s aimed at something we all hate that’s somehow fine?
The duplicitous and underhand manner in which the NZ Police have quietly amassed a mass surveillance network alongside their constant abuse of power to get what they want is an incredibly dangerous combination for any State Agency to gain.
Are we sure we know what level of power we are blithely handing over here?
A Police State starts with the promise of security.
Increasingly having independent opinion in a mainstream media environment which mostly echo one another has become more important than ever, so if you value having an independent voice – please donate here.
If you can’t contribute but want to help, please always feel free to share our blogs on social media