Category Archives: guest article

Guest post: cameras in toilets

One of the most common topics of the emails we receive at Tech Liberty is the placement of video cameras. People worry about them where they work, in the street, and on their neighbour’s properties.

This guest post is from Yuri Wierda, a licensed security consultant, and he’s concerned about the increasing popularity of security cameras in public toilets:

I have personally refused to install cameras in toilets and have talked a few clients out of doing it. I believe cameras in toilets are immoral and may be illegal. Part of my responsibility when advising people on security is ensuring that they themselves don’t break the law.

The argument for cameras in toilets has been that it reduces vandalism.

While there may be signs advising people that there is a camera I do not believe that it justifies it or complies legally. There are several situations where signs will not provide informed consent.

  • Someone may get changed in the toilet and not see the sign.
  • Someone may be blind or illiterate.
  • Someone may be intellectually disabled.
  • Children may be visiting the toilet unaccompanied.

This creates several privacy and legal issues:

  1. The intellectually disabled and children CANNOT legally provide consent to being filmed in the nude or partly clothed. Toilets are places where people adjust their clothing and may be partially clothed. Children and intellectually disabled people will not expect there to be a camera filming them. Filming such an event is illegal (s216G to s216N of the Crimes Act) and potentially can (and should) result in serious criminal charges.
  2. People who have not seen the sign or were unable to read it cannot provide informed consent.

I am appalled that the police has provided advice that it is not illegal.

Letter to Simon Power About Copyright Infringement

Tech Liberty was a co-signer on this letter to Simon Power about the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill.

The three main areas covered by the letter and briefing are:

  • Avoiding the possible reversal of burden of proof when people are accused of infringement (section 122MA).
  • Account holder liability for shared internet connections when the account holder would have no way of controlling the users of the connection.
  • Mechanism for activating the suspended “account suspension” provisions.

See our other articles about copyright issues in general and this law in particular.

Guest post: Letter to Mr Power re Copyright

Sam Fickling sent us a copy of his letter to the Commerce Minister, Simon Power, about the proposed changes to the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing Amendment) Bill. He has kindly given us permission to publish it here.

Mr Power,

Once again I believe that, for the most part, the ongoing modifications to the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill are improving the legislation and building a fair and workable framework with which to protect both rights holders and Internet users. However, the recent recommendation by the Commerce Committee to insert section 122MA into the bill has unfortunately brought the debate around this legislation back to where it started.

Originally, the main objection I, and many other individuals and organisations, had against the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill was the concept of ‘guilt upon accusation’. While this concept had been removed from more recent drafts of the bill, it has made a return with section 122MA. I must re-iterate my original objections to the concept of ‘guilt upon accusation’ and the fact that this is in complete contradiction to the established laws and legal principles of New Zealand where accused parties are innocent until proven guilty! Furthermore, in established legal principles, the burden of proof lies with the accuser and this should most certainly not be reversed “in recognition of uncertainty about findings of copyright infringement”!
Continue reading Guest post: Letter to Mr Power re Copyright

Guest article: Security risks of centralised filtering

We’d like to welcome our first guest author, Gerard Creamer. He’s written an article that explains some of the security risks inherent in implementing a centralised filtering system. It’s a little more technical than most of the articles we publish; we hope you find it interesting.

Continue reading Guest article: Security risks of centralised filtering