Jul 052011


5 July 2011


The Security Intelligence Service (SIS) has been given stronger surveillance powers under legislation passed by Parliament today.

The New Zealand Security Intelligence Service Amendment Bill updates laws that are more than 40 years old and gives the SIS legal authority to deal with high-tech communications like computers and mobile phones.

Attorney-General Chris Finlayson said during the third reading debate the changes would ensure the SIS was equipped to deal with the now widespread use of computers, mobile phones and internet technologies, and take advantage of new surveillance technologies.

“Changes must be made to enable the SIS to regain its full functionality before New Zealand hosts an important event like the Rugby World Cup,” he said.

The Labour Party supported the bill, although MPs again complained about the way public submissions to the Security and Intelligence Committee were heard in secret.