By 3 News online staff
Police and other Government departments will have more search and surveillance powers from today.
The Search and Surveillance Act 2012 comes into force today and gives more Government agencies the right to carry out surveillance.
The new Act modifies more than 70 different pieces of legislation, from the Animal Welfare Act to the Wine Act and comes as the Government faces intense scrutiny over the Dotcom case.
It gives police the right to search or keep people under surveillance without a warrant in urgent or emergency situations, changes the right to silence and empowers judges to decide whether journalists can protect their sources or not.
Nicholai Anderson, a senior associate at law firm Chen Palmer, says it shows the Government doesn't necessarily follow the rules.
“There were very clear rules in place as regards what the GCSB could actually do, who they could survey, and they broke those rules, seemingly, and in this case one of the key concerns people have is whether the safeguards in the act are going to work.”
Justice Minister Judith Collins says the new law closes loopholes which have allowed criminals off the hook.
The full act can be read here.
3 News / RadioLIVE