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NCJ Number: 114103 Find in a Library
Title: Electronic Surveillance: The National Crime Authority Perspective (From Listening Devices and Electronic Surveillance: Police Powers and Citizen's Rights, P 11-19, 1987 -- See NCJ-114102)
Author(s): G Blewitt
Date Published: 1987
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: Sydney University
Sydney, Australia
Sale Source: Sydney University
Law School
Institute of Criminology
173-175 Phillip Street, NSW 2000
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: This paper examines the use of electronic surveillance in law enforcement in Australia.
Abstract: Because organized crime, particularly in the area of drug trafficking, is becoming more sophisticated in its methods, electronic surveillance is a necessary tool for penetrating the upper echelons of organized crime and gathering admissible evidence. Operation Silo, conducted by the National Crime Authority, illustrates this point. As a result of telecommunication interceptions, it was possible to prosecute and convict two major drug traffickers. Under the Telecommunications (Interception) Amendment Act (TIAA) of 1987, authority to use electronic surveillance has been extended to State and Territory police forces in the investigation of a variety of serious offenses (e.g., murder, kidnapping, drug trafficking, offenses punishable by 7 years or more imprisonment). While the public has always been wary of the erosion of civil liberties and the encroachment of official power, there are a number of safeguards that minimize the inevitable invasion of personal privacy that results from electronic surveillance. Some of these safeguards are built into the National Crime Authority's system of checks and balances. Stringent safeguards in the TIAA attempt to ensure that an interception facility is used only when necessary and includes requirements for judicial warrants, audits by an independent authority, and regulations on the use and disclosure of the products of intercepts. Additional safeguards against abuses are contained in the New South Wales Listening Devices Act.
Main Term(s): Electronic surveillance
Index Term(s): Australia; Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Police legal limitations
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