DS Danyl Strype Public Seen by 178

The existing policy statement related to surveillance can be read here:

Relevant references for surveillance policy:

10 Jul 2013 - International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance:

LEAP group: 7 Hard Problems in Secure Communication


Craig Magee Wed 12 Feb 2014 2:38AM

Strip out the terrorism part. What’s left is a good start that can be extended and compliment with local issues.

We believe that an individual right to privacy remains important, in spite of claims of the need for surveillance for the greater good, and we are not convinced that overriding the right to privacy best serves the greater good.

We suggest that the Government should refrain from using new technology for surveillance until the issue has been subject to democratic consideration, and, in the absence of a constitution limiting the powers of Government, that a referendum or 75% majority in Parliament be required to extend Government surveillance powers under law. Legislation alone, however, does not address the inherent insecurity of many modern forms of communication which has made the erosion of privacy possible, and accordingly we also suggest the encouragement of privacy measures such as encryption.


Adam Bullen Thu 13 Feb 2014 10:10AM

I have no problem with surveillance, where appropriate.

Such as part of an active criminal investigation. Or where there is evidence to look at someone / a group.

If it turns out that the evidence collected clears that person or group, that evidence must de destroyed at the end of the investigation.


Danyl Strype Wed 2 Apr 2014 12:48AM

I hear what you're saying @adambullen but I think you are still falling into the fallacy that surveillance is a normal way to carry out criminal investigations. In most cases, this is not necessary.

Since any form of surveillance goes against our human right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, the onus should be on those wishing to carry out surveillance to prove it is necessary and justified, and that there's no other way to stop a person or group harming others. The usual way to do this is by getting a warrant from a judge for each act of surveillance, but I don't think this is sufficient protection when police and judges are often equally 'deep in the forest' of law enforcement paranoia and groupthink that Ross Meurant talks about in the Operation 8 doco.

Most importantly, people's behaviour, including online behaviour, should not be constrained or redesigned in order to make surveillance easier. That includes forcing software developers and server hosts to include backdoors in their systems. Pirates need to actively support projects to increase people's ability to communicate privately if they choose to, for example:


Adam Bullen Thu 3 Apr 2014 1:27AM

@strypey I completely agree with what you say about forcing developers to make surveillance easier. It should be criminal to for the government to ask, let alone forcing it.

However assuming that judges are all corrupt and will give out surveillance warrants like candy is short sighted.

Disallowing surveillance of criminals via legal means will just force the practice underground**. Having legal means to surveil criminals and suspected criminals with clear limits to the powers granted to the police and related agencies, I think is critical to for the power of the police to uphold the law.

As for the groupthink comment, I am massively critical of the police and government when it comes to over stepping the bounds of their powers, which I think they do all to often. But that is another issue.

And as I said in my previous comment, surveillance needs to part of an "active" criminal investigation. I am not sure how you expect to carry out criminal investigations without the ability to look at what people are doing?

Disposal of the collected data needs to be written into law, if it is found that the data collected is not relevant to the case.

**See the recent revelations about authorities in the US getting tow truck drivers to mount licence plate recognition devices to their trucks, so that they could deny collecting them.


Danyl Strype Thu 3 Apr 2014 10:56AM


surveillance needs to part of an “active” criminal investigation. I am not sure how you expect to carry out criminal investigations without the ability to look at what people are doing?

A criminal investigation usually involves things like:
* interviewing victims, witnesses, and suspects,
* putting together a timeline of events and people’s movements
* following up clues such as identifying the owners of vehicles at the scene of the crime in case they witnessed anything
* examining documentary evidence such as photographs on the camera of a victim
* reading reports on forensic evidence collected from the crime scene (eg fingerprints)
* executing search warrants on premises where there is a good reason to believe physical evidence of the crime may be found

None of these things are surveillance, unless you are stretching the word well beyond common usage. Back in the day, surveillance methods were a last resort, used only if the information and evidence collected through normal detective methods convinced the Police that they knew who committed a crime, but weren’t sure they could prove it beyond reasonable doubt.

What I object to is that constant mass surveillance is becoming normalized. Either judicial oversight is being removed to make the system more “efficient”, or it’s simply failing to keep overzealous police from deciding they want to persecute someone, and fishing through a multitude of surveillance material to find a way to do so.

Disallowing surveillance of criminals via legal means will just force the practice underground**.

This is a bit like saying saying we need to make it legal to beat up suspects with phone books, so the police won’t do it illegally with their fists. Actually, we need to stop giving people special powers unless they are totally accountable for how they use them, and lose those powers right away if they abuse them. Despite the fact that a number of Acts of Parliament have increased police search powers in the last 20 years - eg the Search and Surveillance Act and the Suppression of Activism Ammendment Act - we know that in the MegaUpload case the police used illegal surveillance, and that in Operation 8 much of the police surveillance was illegal as well, leading to most of the trumped-up charges being dropped. The idea that we need to give the police more legal surveillance powers to stop them using illegal ones just doesn’t hold up. Whatever powers they are given, they always seem to “need” more.


Poll Created Thu 3 Apr 2014 11:00AM

Governments must not constrain behaviour or design to make surveillance easier Closed Thu 10 Apr 2014 11:07AM

by Danyl Strype Wed 26 Apr 2017 8:46AM

We have unanimous consensus that Pirate policy on Privacy include the principle that governments must not constrain behaviour or design to make surveillance easier.

Despite our ongoing debate, Adam and I appear to have found consensus, and I want to check if this is a broadly shared principle which could be part of our position statement on Surveillance. Do we agree that governments must not constrain people's behaviour, or the design of communication systems, to make surveillance easier, cheaper, or more far-reaching?


Results Option % of points Voters
Agree 100.0% 7 AR DU DP HM M RU AB
Abstain 0.0% 0  
Disagree 0.0% 0  
Block 0.0% 0  
Undecided 0% 13 DS AJ TF KT TJ CM BV BK PA DU RF CW MD

7 of 20 people have participated (35%)


Fri 4 Apr 2014 3:02AM

Like all principles, a pragmatist can imagine circumstances where they would not consider it reasonable. That said, I feel this holds generally enough to give it a yes.


Andrew Reitemeyer
Fri 4 Apr 2014 6:47PM

As a broad principle yes, but surveillance has already gone to far and needs paring back


Adam Bullen
Sat 5 Apr 2014 10:52AM

Designing to make surveillance easier is reprehensible, for governments to try to enforce this kind of behaviour should not be tolerated.


Andrew McPherson
Sun 6 Apr 2014 5:15AM

The Government must never again restrict communications systems or people's behaviour. If that is an irritant to a bureaucrat somewhere, then too bad for that bureaucrat.

Load More