“The criticism of migration will be a criminal offense”

The European Parliament wants to extend the definition of ‘hate speech’ to include criticism of immigration, making it illegal. Media that publishes criticism of migration could be shut down.

From the video clip:

…one basic element of this new agreement is the extension of the definition of hate speech.

The agreement want to criminalise migration speech.

Criticism of migration will become a criminal offence, and media outlets…that give room to criticism of migration can be shut down.

The compacts for migration is legalisation of mass migration.

I can imagine that being quite controversial.

If it becomes law it would depend a lot on what the legal definition of “criticism of migration” is, but on the surface this is an alarming move towards legal limitation of speech.

 

Law on audio and video recordings

This post from June 2017 has had a lot of search hits over the last couple of days in relation to the Jami-Lee Ross recording and threats of releasing more recordings, so worth a re-post:


The Todd Barclay saga, in which the Police decided not to prosecute Barclay for making audio recordings of an employee in his electorate office in Gore (the Police are currently reviewing that decision) has raised the issue of what can and can’t be legally recorded.

Video recordings are legal:

Surveillance video is common in public and in work places.

The Privacy Commission website states that it is “usually unfair to record someone without telling them”.

Can I record someone without telling them?

Whether making an audio or visual recording of someone without telling them will breach the Privacy Act will depend on the circumstances in each case. In particular, it will depend on who is making the recording and why they are making it.

If you are an individual and you are making a recording in relation to you own personal, domestic or household affairs (for instance you’re recording a personal conversation with a friend), there is an exception which says that, generally, the Privacy Act won’t apply to what you do.

However, if you collect, use or disclose personal information in a way which would be highly offensive to a reasonable person, this exception will not apply. In other words, someone could make a complaint about you.

If you are making the recording for any reason, other than your own domestic, personal or household affairs, the general rules about collection of personal information will apply. In particular, it’s usually unfair to record someone without telling them.

You should also keep in mind that there may be other laws which apply apart from the Privacy Act – for instance, recording a private conversation that you’re not involved in will often be a crime.

That seems to be what Barclay was investigated for.

On usually unfair to record someone without telling them:

Can an agency make a video or audio recording of me without telling me?

Generally speaking, an agency must tell you if it is collecting your personal information.

However, there are some cases where an agency could collect your information without telling you. For instance, it might not have to tell you it was collecting your information if this would undermine the agency’s purpose for collecting the information in the first place, or if it would endanger the safety of any individual.

If you believe an agency has collected your information without telling you, we suggest that you contact the agency and ask to speak to their privacy officer to see if you can resolve any concerns you have about this directly.

If you’re not able to resolve your concerns, and you believe you have suffered some sort of harm as a result of the collection of your information, you can make a complaint to us.

Or make a complaint to the Police, as Glenys Dickson did in the Barclay case.

Andrew Geddis comments on this in It’s not the crime, it’s the coverup

…it’s not an offence to record yourself in conversation with others, even if they don’t know you are doing so. Nor is it an offence to record other people without their knowledge if they are not engaged in a “private communication”.

But the allegation against Barclay is that he left a dictaphone running when he wasn’t in his office so as to record what Dickson was saying in conversations with constituents.

Also in Police take another look at Barclay secret recording investigation

Geddis said the alleged breach in law on which Barclay was investigated needed to tick three boxes to be proved.

The first was there needed to be a recording with an “interception device”, as the law phrased. In this case, he said, the “device” was alleged to be a dictaphone.

Then it needed to be proved it was a private conversation – in this case, said to be the electorate office where Dickson worked.

The third element was proving that the recording was made intentionally, he said.

“If you could prove all three elements, the offence carries a jailable offence of up to two years.”

Conviction to the two-year point is the trigger which forces MPs to resign from Parliament.

Steven Price at Media Law Journal (in reference to the Bradley Ambrose case):

It’s a crime to intentionally intercept a private communication using an interception device. A private communication is one that is made under circumstances that may reasonably taken to indicate that any party to it desires it remain private, but:

does not include such a communication occurring in circumstances in which any party ought reasonably to expect that the communication may be intercepted by some other person not having the express or implied consent of any party to do so.

Although a battalion of journalists were about a metre away behind a window, let’s assume that Key and Banks couldn’t reasonably expect it to be overheard, and that the circumstances indicate that both desired their conversation to remain private.

In an electorate office if the conversation was in an open office where others were present and could hear it then it may not be private. But if Dickson was the only person present then it could be private.

The only issue, then, is whether the interception was intentional. On the paper’s account, it was inadvertent. In fact, it says, the cameraman tried to retrieve his recorder before the conversation but was stopped by Key’s security folk, and didn’t know that the recording was even happening. Now, I don’t know anything more than has been reported. But I wonder whether there is room for doubt about whether the cameraman genuinely didn’t know that the conversation was being recorded.

If it could be established that he did know, then he has committed an offence.

Bill English has said (in the now public police statement) “I had a conversation with him regarding Glenys Dickson leaving his office and he said to me that he had recordings of her criticising him”.

Barclay has said “I have read and Mr English’s statement to the police and accept it.”

“Recordings” is plural. It could be difficult claiming that more than one recording was accidental.

We will find out next week what the Police decide to do and whether they re-open the case or not.

US nuclear general discusses illegal order to strike

This seems to be hypothetical musing but it is seen as significant that a US General involved in nuclear strike decisions openly discussed what he would do if given an illegal order to launch nukes.

Reuters: U.S. nuclear general says would resist ‘illegal’ Trump strike order

The top U.S. nuclear commander said on Saturday that he would resist President Donald Trump if he ordered an “illegal” launch of nuclear weapons.

Air Force General John Hyten, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM), told an audience at the Halifax International Security Forum in Nova Scotia, Canada that he had given a lot of thought to what he would say if he received such an order.

“I think some people think we’re stupid,” Hyten said in response to a question about such a scenario. “We’re not stupid people. We think about these things a lot. When you have this responsibility, how do you not think about it?”

Hyten, who is responsible for overseeing the U.S. nuclear arsenal, explained the process that would follow such a command.

As head of STRATCOM “I provide advice to the president, he will tell me what to do,” he said in his remarks, retransmitted in a video posted on the forum’s Facebook page.

“And if it’s illegal, guess what’s going to happen? I‘m going to say, ‘Mr. President, that’s illegal.’ And guess what he’s going to do? He’s going to say, ‘What would be legal?’ And we’ll come up with options, of a mix of capabilities to respond to whatever the situation is, and that’s the way it works. It’s not that complicated.”

Hyten said running through scenarios of how to react in the event of an illegal order was standard practice, and added: “If you execute an unlawful order, you will go to jail. You could go to jail for the rest of your life.”

His job requires him to resist any president who might give illegal orders. This is one of the checks and balances on presidential power.

But why is the General being asked about this now?

They came after questions by U.S. senators, including Democrats and Trump’s fellow Republicans, about Trump’s authority to wage war, use nuclear weapons and enter into or end international agreements, amid concern that tensions over North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs could lead to hostilities.

Trump has traded insults and threats with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un and threatened in his maiden United Nations address to “totally destroy” the country of 26 million people if it threatened the United States.

Some senators want legislation to alter the nuclear authority of the U.S. president and a Senate committee on Tuesday held the first congressional hearing in more than four decades on the president’s authority to launch a nuclear strike.

Trump’s unpredictability and impetuousness seems to be raising concerns, as they should.

The world has raised concerns about the nuclear risk. As long as we can be assured a nuclear strike can’t be ordered via Twitter it may not be as bad as it seems.

Hager house raid ruled illegal

Not surprising to see that the police raid on Nicky Hager’s house has been ruled illegal. There were some concerning aspects of it.

High Court finds police raid on Nicky Hager was illegal

High Court finds police raid on Nicky Hager was illegal

Wellington High Court judge Justice Clifford issued his judgement today on the legality of the police search of Nicky Hager’s home on 2 October 2014.

The judge found that the search was illegal. He said that the Police had failed to disclose relevant information to the Judge who issued the warrant. As a result, he formally declared that the warrant was “fundamentally unlawful”. He also found that the search was therefore unlawful. Justice Clifford also expressed concerns about other aspects of the Police’s actions.

Mr Hager said he is very happy about the decision, for his family and because of the important principles it upholds.

“The heart of the case is the public’s right to receive information about the actions of people in positions of authority. This decision acknowledges that confidential sources used in investigative journalism, in this case my book Dirty Politics, deserve legal protection.”

More hearings will follow on other police actions taken against Mr Hager and on the subject of costs and damages. But Mr Hager said this decision was the most important one, affecting all news media and also present and future whistle blowers. “This decision is very good news for New Zealand journalism,” he said.

Mr Hager thanked the large numbers of people who donated money to help cover court costs and the experts who wrote affidavits supporting his case.

Source: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1512/S00268/high-court-finds-police-raid-on-nicky-hager-was-illegal.htm

The ruling:

A final comment

[148] I note one final matter: I am not persuaded that the approach the police took to enabling Mr Hager to claim privilege was the preferred one. It was only during the second telephone conversation that the police asked Mr Hager if he was claiming privilege. That is not the type of facilitation that I consider the Search and Surveillance Act anticipates. Rather, when they discovered Mr Hager was not at his home, I would have anticipated that the police would have initiated contact with Mr Hager, told him that the Search, if successful, of necessity would disclose evidence protected by s 68, and have positively given him the opportunity to claim privilege.

Result

[149] Mr Hager has succeeded in his application for a declaration that the Warrant and the Search were fundamentally unlawful.

[150] In light of that, and of counsel’s agreed deferring of the questions of the lawfulness of the information inquiries undertaken by the police, and of the question of NZBORA damages, I invite a memorandum from counsel as to the way forward.

http://www.courtsofnz.govt.nz/cases/hager-v-attorney-general-1/at_download/fileDecision

Matt Nippert is quick out of the blocks: Nicky Hager police raid ruling a win for journalism

Nicky Hager’s victory in the High Court today allows the fourth estate – especially its burgeoning offshoots both new and old – to breathe a sigh of relief.

Hager’s ultimately successful legal challenge was based on a complaint that police, in going through his daughter’s underwear drawer, seizing more than a dozen storage devices, and turning his personal and professional life upside down, had ignored Hager’s important legal rights as a journalist to protect his sources.

These rights are important to encourage a check on the powers-that-be, enabling information that some may consider secret or confidential to be aired if publishing or broadcasting is in the public interest.

Having been in contact with Rawshark while working for the Sunday Star-Times, and having reviewed much of the source material Hager used in writing Dirty Politics, I’m satisfied conclusions he reached were both accurate and newsworthy and definitely passed the public interest test.

At the nub of Hager’s challenge was how far these rights of journalistic privilege extended. Their applicability to mainstream media sources, like this newspaper, has long been broadly accepted.

And Nippert concludes:

The dismissal of this argument, in effect granting new media online and old media in book publishing the same ability as mainstream media organisations to proudly carry the rights and responsibilities that the tag ‘journalist’.

Ironically enough, in separate proceedings, the target of Rawshark’s hacking – Cameron Slater – is also engaged in arguments also trying to extend journalistic privileges: to bloggers such as himself.

Today’s ruling helpfully confirms that, where the public interest test is met, authors – and bloggers – should all be entitled to wear that badge.

Whale Oil doesn’t appear to have posted anything on this yet. Nothing I can find in comments there either.