Re: I need help...
Couple of minor points GrantB, Kim's a permanent resident, not a citizen. But all the points you made about who the GCSB are allowed to spy are apply to both citizens and permanent residents. Speaking as someone who was a PR and is now a citizen, there is very little difference. As a PR you get to vote, and have all the usual rights to benefits etc. I think it's only serving your country in the armed forces or as a MP that requires you to be a citizen.
As I understand the issue was that GCSB (and the police) would consult their own legal peeps about what they could and couldn't do, their legal peeps decided that it was OK. Whether this was done because they misunderstood Kim's residency status, or because their legal opinions where not actually based on any actual cases.
Both the GCSB and the cops are very bad at actually seeking an independent legal opinion on their actions. The legal status of "pinging" a cell phone location and obtaining cellphone movement records without a warrant is a grey area, as it is not clear if that information is private, but getting the texts or calls does require a warrant.
The cellphone blocking tech is huge stupid project, that indeed may in fact be illegal, despite the passing of the law allowing it. Pumping out huge amounts of interference not only affects civilians, but there are some human rights concerns over exposing prisoners to it may have some long term repercussions. Plus it's massively over budget (2 billion and counting from an initial budget of 150 mil IIRC) the company that sells it employs the staff at Corrections who oversee the budget, and it doesn't work. Well, it works on quite a lot of cellphones, but there are combinations of phones and carriers that do work. Not well for voice, but fine for texting. Amazingly some prisoners figured this out. Each time they find another way around it, the company pumps the power up a bit more, and bills Corrections for another million bucks.
The other great case for the police was the "terrorist camps" one. So the boys in blue had been (for years) gathering evidence using cameras without warrants, as long as the camera was located in a public area. Locating it in a private area did require a warrant. The reasoning (again from the internal legal advice) was that the rules governing what an officer can see from a public space is admissible, ie plod is walking down the street, and sees you breaking into a car on private property, and that the *public* have rights to record (photos, video and sound) pretty much what they like if they are in a public area. However, this got challenged in court, and the judge ruled that targeted police surveillance did not fall under the remit of a private individual taking recordings. This caused some issues as it turns out the plod had been doing this for years (300+ cases) and some plod criticised the judge because of this. Rather than actually bothering to do the paperwork to get warrants and convince someone from Justice that their cause is legit. Which probably would have failed in the "terrorist" case, but probably would have passed for most of those other cases.
The "terrorist" case and Kim's are both pretty much directly as a result of John Key's desperate desire to show how much he can lick his American masters boots. You may have noticed quite a few countries who are part of the anglo-american alliance who put terrorist legislation on the books seemed to want to test out some prosecutions with it. With Kim it was trying to emulate the FBI, make accusation, seize all assets, delay trial for as long as possible. Might not actually win the case, but you get your punishment in up front.
As a side note on all this terrorism legislation, I'm lost as to what it is for other than suppressing political dissent. There seemed to be plenty of existing laws on the books that cover those crimes. In fact the only thing the NZ domestic terrorist where convicted of (IIRC) where normal laws covering owning and using automatic weapons. Or maybe it's just legitimising the actions of certain states.
Anon since I consult for Corrections and Justice now and again.