18 May 2011

Spy law gets human rights makeover

10:08 am on 18 May 2011

The law governing New Zealand's spy agency, the Security Intelligence Service, is to be changed to require the agency to act in accordance with human rights standards.

Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee has recommended a statement of principles be included in the SIS Act as part of a bill to extend electronic surveillience powers.

Those principles include acting in accordance with human rights, and acting professionally and impartially.

In its official advice, the SIS says the statement of principles would be a world first for an intelligence service such as itself.

And it argued that human rights are already protected, saying the use of the service's intrusive powers must satisfy legal requirements.