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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Call to register prepaid cellphones 'an intrusion'

Call to register prepaid cellphones 'an intrusion'
A call for prepaid cellphone customers to be registered to stop criminals using them has been labelled an unnecessary intrusion into people's lives. Police yesterday called for the register because criminals often used prepaid phones, which can be bought without identification, because they believe they cannot be traced and can be disposed of easily. But Auckland Council for Civil Liberties president Barry Wilson said the plan was over the top and could result in innocent people getting caught up unnecessarily in police inquiries. Mr Wilson said this was not just a case where only criminals would have something to fear from being registered. "Cellphones are lost or stolen so often, and they are also passed on or sold at garage sales on a regular basis," Mr Wilson said. "If people who end up with the phones then use it for criminal activity the original registered owner can get caught up in a police inquiry and that can be very stressful." Mr Wilson wondered if such a register would require anyone who sells or hands a phone on to go through paperwork similar to that needed for vehicles.
"That would just require another level of bureaucracy, and it would be yet another intrusion on people's privacy."

If you look at the latest Police News, they discuss the new powers of these ridiculous anti-gang laws where the Police get the Attorney-General to outlaw a gang, and then the Police get to pick off whichever individuals they wish to claim is an associate. The article in the Police News notes that while some claim this is a breach of civil liberties, the Police News sides with Goff that some civil liberties need to be over ridden to be safe from gangs. This mindset, that any civil liberty is up for grabs in our new war against the terrorist gangs is a disgusting position to take – our civil liberties are the thing that needs protecting, not creating the environment that gives weight to a Police state, and here we are being threatened with the same argument that we need to allow the Police access to our mobile phones – breaching our privacy – to fight ‘da gangs’. We allowed ourselves to be frightened before and rush through the Terrorism Suppression Act – why are we allowing ourselves to be manipulated again, and you just know those bloody Nats will have no problem helping the Police get those powers of they get elected.


At 29/10/08 8:14 am, Anonymous telecommunicator said...

There is already the availability of "legal intercept" which enables police with appropriate authority to listen to phone-calls, read emails and see txts and pxts. It even allows them to know roughly where a phone is, if it is turned on.
This register isn't needed to do what they want to do!

At 29/10/08 10:23 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me how this works? For instance if a young person runs away from home, how would the police track their cell phone to find out where they are?


At 29/10/08 10:50 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmmm, maybe its time to race off and buy a prepaid under a phoney name... i'd say there'll be a boom in sales if this looks like going through.

At 29/10/08 3:25 pm, Blogger Truth Seeker said...

To track it you need to at least know the number.

How would you know what to track if you didn't know the number of the cell?

Connected a given cellphone with the individual is the issue....and if you can't connect the two, you can't track one or other.


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