News

Syrian-born NZ citizens forced by NZ Customs to give device & social media passwords

Andrea Vance at 1News reports that Syrian-born Kiwis are being held up when re-entering New Zealand:

1 News has talked to a number of individuals who have been detained at Auckland airport, often for hours at a time. They've been forced to hand over their phones and laptops - and ordered to surrender passwords to social media accounts.

Police tasering of man in cell "excessive and unjustified"

A South Auckland Police sergeant's Tasering of an Auckland man in his cell was "contrary to policy, excessive and unjustified" the Independent Police Conduct Authority has found.

According to an IPCA media release:

Officers arrested the man for possessing an offensive weapon and took him back to the Police station.

 

Privacy Commissioner to examine MSD demands for social service users' information

The Privacy Commissioner has announced an investigation into the Ministry of Social Development's requirement that social service providers collect and hand over the private information of their users, Radio NZ reports.

Corrections subjects at-risk prisoners to "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment"

The Department of Corrections has broken anti-torture laws in its treatment of prisoners at risk of self-harm, according to the Ombudsman.

Corrections finally release Crimes of Torture Act report

From the NZ Herald:

New Zealand prisoners have been subjected to degrading treatment, including being filmed while strip searched, being bullied and victimised by other prisoners, and sleeping in "deplorable" accommodation, a watchdog has found.

The Ombudsman's Office also found prisoners had endured drinking discoloured tap water, wearing dirty clothes and being held in handcuffs for an extended period of time.

Policing by force

Four police officers were found not guilty of assaulting a man in Napier. The police officers smashed the car windows, used pepper spray, tasers, and a police dog in an attempt to get a man to leave his vehicle. The man later died although the prosecution accepted that this was not caused by the officers.

The chief assessor of police dog training told the court that letting dogs loose in the car was the wrong decision.

Customs able to demand unlock/passwords at the border

The Government's new Customs and Excise Bill gives Customs the ability to demand people unlock electronic devices and reveal decryption keys at the border. The relevant section is 207 - Data in electronic devices that are subject to control of Customs.

Private eye: Big data, big questions

Kate Newtown from RadioNZ writes about just how much data private companies are collecting about us, and what they're doing with it.

Issues include:

Heavy handed Maritime Crime Amendment Bill turns democratic protesters into terrorists

We have long warned that the problem with allowing human-rights abridging special powers to cope with "terrorism" is that over time, the meaning of the word will be expanded so that these exceptional laws can be used for more and more mundane offenses.

Papanui Library's attempts to hurt the young

How can it be acceptable for anyone to use a device that deliberately hurts people in order to keep them out of a public place?