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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Police push to register prepaid cellphones


Police push to register prepaid cellphones
The number could be up for criminals who hide behind the anonymity of prepaid cellphones Police are calling for all prepaid customers to be registered on a national database, to stop pay-and-go phones being used by criminals - who believe there is no way to trace the user and know the phones can be disposed of easily. Phones are available over the counter in New Zealand without buyers having to identify themselves or give traceable credit card details. Detective Senior Sergeant Darrin Thomson, from the Wellington metro crime unit, told The Dominion Post that prepaid cellphones provided a "significant challenge" for police investigating high-profile serious crimes and crime groups. "The use of prepaid cellular phones is a common use amongst the criminal fraternity, particularly at the higher level, and anything that would help us thwart that anonymity would be fabulous." Mr Thomson said adopting a system similar to Australia's - where all phone buyers would have to present a passport or other official form of identification at the point of purchase - would help catch criminals. "We've got a point of contact straight away, which is a really, really good thing." The call for change comes as officials in Britain plan to extend the powers of state surveillance by ensuring everyone who buys a mobile registers their identity on a national database.

I am deeply suspicious that we are copying the quasi-fascist UK who are passing surveillance law that drives them further and further away from being a Democracy – there they are expanding state power for ‘Terrorism’ here the Police have done all they can to pretend that organized crime is terrorism and thus massive retraction of civil liberties and privacy for the expansion of state surveillance becomes self justifiable. It is bullshit and if we weren’t being frightened by the media over da gangs we would never hand this level of power to the cops, just like with the abortion of the Terrorism Suppression Act (remember that one folks), we continue to pass legislation based on fear.

14 Comments:

At 28/10/08 7:45 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally disagree with you. My son was bullied by texting from a pre-paid phone while he was at intermediate. I took the phone to the police to show them the messages and there was nothing they could do because the sender had a pre-paid phone.

People who pay a monthly rental or are on a plan have their names associated with their cell phones, why make it different for people who want to hide behind a pre-pay?

 
At 28/10/08 7:51 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where do the Police mention tracking down cyber bullies as justification for increased surveillance powers?

 
At 28/10/08 8:34 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dick Smith and the other retailers have been demanding a name and address from prepaid phone buyers for quite some time now. When questioned why they mumble something about the garantee and how you might lose the paper work. They don't want to know if you buy anything else though.

 
At 28/10/08 10:44 am, Blogger Paul said...

Anon 7:45, if you already have the phone number of this person then your best bet is to talk to your network operator (telecom, vodafone), who can help you set up a block of their number on your sons phone or if the abuse is severe enough they could lock out the senders phone, making it a paper weight. Ether way I'm afraid that the police don't really care.

Of course, any higher criminal organization could use fake credentials with relative ease when they buy a cell phone, or buy already unregistered ones from trademe, or if they're 'on a job' and need communication they'll just switch to using encoded CBS radio or something.

Just like making cold and flu medicine harder to get because some people like to make P, this will annoying the public far more than the criminals.

 
At 28/10/08 10:49 am, Blogger Truth Seeker said...

In Thailand you can't even buy a phone without a residents visa, work permit or Thai passport. In Ontario, Canada, you need to present two pieces of ID, one with a photo and a piece of mail with your home address on it.

This makes it harder for law-abiding people to get phones. It doesn't stop the crims. They just steal phones instead of buying them.

 
At 28/10/08 11:00 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paul: Oops, meant to sign that anon 7:45 comment ...

Thanks for the suggestion to contact the provider, I find they're pretty unhelpful too unfortunately. It was a while ago now but if it happens to one of the younger kids I'll take your advice

NS

 
At 28/10/08 12:18 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

IT FOR YOUR OWN GOOD. DONT QUESTION US. IF YOU DO YOU ARE A TERRORIST.

Love, the new zealand police.

 
At 28/10/08 10:41 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bomber although I agree with your statement that the police have to many powers, I don't agree with your dis approval of this policy. How will the police abuse this database?

 
At 29/10/08 6:15 am, Blogger Bomber said...

Bomber although I agree with your statement that the police have to many powers, I don't agree with your dis approval of this policy. How will the police abuse this database?

My concern is that we are following the British on this and lately they have been incredibly over the top by handing power over to the cops - I note in the most recent Police gazette, and I'll get into this shortly - the cops are talking about how THEY decide which groups of individuals can associate with eachother and their come back to claims of civil liberties is that NZers are happy to hand over their liberties to be safer - that's the cops reaction in their own Police newspaper - they are happy to strip away our civil liberties because it makes us 'safer' - I distrust this mindset and there is no way I want that mindset getting any more power and a mass expansion of survaillance powers doesn't make me comfortable at all. The question isn't how will gthe Police abuse this database, the question is with the mindset on display in the latest Police Gazette, that they strip away our civil liberties to make us 'safer' - with that mindset, how will the Police not abuse that database.

 
At 29/10/08 8:22 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My concern is that we are following the British on this and lately they have been incredibly over the top by handing power over to the cops - I note in the most recent Police gazette, and I'll get into this shortly - the cops are talking about how THEY decide which groups of individuals can associate with eachother and their come back to claims of civil liberties is that NZers are happy to hand over their liberties to be safer - that's the cops reaction in their own Police newspaper - they are happy to strip away our civil liberties because it makes us 'safer' - I distrust this mindset and there is no way I want that mindset getting any more power and a mass expansion of survaillance powers doesn't make me comfortable at all. The question isn't how will gthe Police abuse this database, the question is with the mindset on display in the latest Police Gazette, that they strip away our civil liberties to make us 'safer' - with that mindset, how will the Police not abuse that database.

Right.
So your concern is actually with the way the British police work, not NZ police.
You think the NZ police might have the same mindset as the British police, but this is just your opinion.

It must suck to have such a fear and mistrust of Government agencies.

You sound just like the middle NZ who you accuse of being scared of non-existent crime and criminals.

 
At 29/10/08 8:33 am, Blogger Bomber said...

Right.
So your concern is actually with the way the British police work, not NZ police.
You think the NZ police might have the same mindset as the British police, but this is just your opinion.

No not at all, there are existing powers the Police can use in NZ to listen in on cell calls and this register is a massive erosion of privacy just so the cops can widen their nets.

It must suck to have such a fear and mistrust of Government agencies.
It must suck more to actually believe in them with the open wide eyes of those who believe everything they are told by their governments, bet you must've swallowed the weapons of mass destruction line huh?

You sound just like the middle NZ who you accuse of being scared of non-existent crime and criminals.
You sound like the usual pro police at all costs anonymous poster.

 
At 29/10/08 9:18 am, Anonymous Stef said...

I agree with Bomber. How can you live through the societal change we have in even the most recent history and still blindly trust certain governmental agencies without even attempting to think for yourself about the possible outcomes?

How will this proposed legislation deal with my stolen phone that is used by another party to commit a crime? If it happens on the same day, the phone will not be reported stolen so it would appear that my position becomes indefensible. Why will a potential criminal purchase a phone with proper credentials? They won't, they will use false documents or (most) will just steal a phone for a single use. This is simple-minded fascist policy and thinly veiled for anyone who still thinks with their brain and not their television.

 
At 29/10/08 5:51 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually 8:22 makes a good point.

I'm more afraid of being robbed by maori thugs at night but bobo says that I should really be afraid that GCSB is intercepting my calls and passing on the transcripts of me ordering pizza from dominos to the SIS for them to put in my dossoir.

Which one should concern me most?

 
At 30/10/08 9:44 am, Anonymous Stef said...

Not only is that a hilarious over-simplification but it also demonstrates that some people will uncritically defend their mindset no matter what information passes before them.

If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear - right? Don't make me laugh.

Who ever said we had to choose what to be most concerned about?
There are many things to be concerned about - at the very least we should investigate ANY attempt at erosion of personal privacy and make up our own mind - each of us owes it to our fellow human beings to become informed and aware.

This is 2 million people being cataloged against their will for some theoretical and miniscule benefit that has so many holes it can never function as intended. It can never be anything BUT a data mining exercise.

If you don't see anything wrong with that then please look deeper, it's important.

 

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