Christchurch Council appear to be more dangerous than the GCSB


The Christchurch City Council has come under fire for putting a dog-listening device in a couple’s backyard without their knowledge.

The council says on this occasion, normal procedure wasn’t followed and permission was not sought to place the listening device on the property.

All dog-listening devices have now been recalled and the council is providing animal management officers with refresher training.

There are 18 devices in total that dog control has been using for the past five or six years.

The recording device can pick up conversation, but animal management officers “cannot recall a situation where they have heard conversations on a recording”, head of regulatory compliance Tracey Weston says.
“Council’s practice is that anything other than barking must be disregarded and cannot be used,” she says.

Wow. Council surveillance would pick up all sorts of ambient sound that isn’t related to dogs barking. ?It’s a bit like the GCSB intercepting lots of stuff; they have to search for keywords and then ignore the remainder of the data.

And they can do it without a warrant.

I’ll wait for the usual crowd of noisy anti-surveillance nutters to get all upset. The Greens, half of Labour, Dotcom, Wrongly Wrongson and a good two-thirds of the Twitterati won’t stand for this kind of malarkey.

On a more serious note: How do you feel about councils placing listening equipment on private property without getting permission or a legal warrant?


– Brooke Hobson, Newshub