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Privacy Law and Policy Reporter

Privacy Law and Policy Reporter (PLPR)
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Greenleaf, Graham --- "Private parts" [1996] PrivLawPRpr 59; (1996) 3(6) Privacy Law & Policy Reporter 120

Private parts

compiled by Graham Greenleaf


The need for the NSW Law Reform Commission's reference to review all NSW laws concerning surveillance (see 3 PLPR 95) is very apparent following recently concerning surveillance (see 3 PLPR 95) is very apparent following recently released surveillance statistics. Phone taps authorised under the Telecommunications (Interception) Act 1979 (Cth) and complementary NSW laws doubled from 91 in 1993 to 190 in 1995. The NSW government is seeking Federal agreement for the new Police Integrity commission to join the police, the Wood Royal Commission, and the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) as NSW agencies entitled to intercept. Installation of authorised listening devices under the Listening Devices Act 1984 (NSW) trebled from 1990 (335) to 1995 (1,000). Already this year ICAC has more than doubled its use of listening devices, to 40 warrants compared with 17 last year, ICAC Commissioner Barry O'Keefe has revealed to ICAC's Parliamentary oversight committee. The NSW Council for Civil Liberties claims that NSW agencies make more use of telephone taps than their US counterparts, but for fewer arrests (source: Sydney Morning Herald, 31 October 1996).


PLPR apologises to Brant Pridmore, author of `Genetic testing -- the privacy issues' (3 PLPR 85) who was incorrectly named Brad. We regret the error


The ticker tape parade for the New York Yankees' win in the World Series produced a new twist on the traditional Australian `confidential files found on garbage tip' (or `pre-school drawings') scandal:

Ticker tape being an obsolete relic, people hurled everything from shredded paper to confetti to toilet tissue. In fact, several government agencies across from city hall dumped entire boxes of public and confidential records out the window, without troubling to shred them. Down came checks issued by the New York City Housing Authority and records of unemployment checks from the New York State Department of Social Services.
(The New York Times, 30 October 1996).


Three NSW Police have been counselled following the entry of details of the HIV status of a person questioned during a raid on a sex shop into the Computerised Operational Policing System (COPS). Assistant Commissioner Bill Galvin ordered the information purged from COPS after an adverse finding by the Ombudsman, Irene Moss (Sydney Morning Herald, 31 October 1996). COPS is accessible to 16,000 NSW police and public servants, and its continuing misuse receives regular canings from the Ombudsman (see 3 PLPR 13).


NGOs in South Korea planed to form a joint committee against the proposed electronic national ID card (see 3 PLPR 60). The joint committee is seeking support: e-mail contact is

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