Police to monitor hydroponics sales
Auckland field crime manager Detective Inspector Stu Allsopp-Smith said the company's directors and employees were granted bail on the condition that staff maintain records of all customers purchasing equipment at its stores.
They must check every customer's photo identification and record their full name, date of birth, address, contact phone number, and ID serial number.
They must also record descriptions of all purchased items, along with serial numbers or other unique identifications.
Each transaction record should be dated and signed by the employee, and must be made available to police for inspection, Mr Allsopp-Smith said.
Is it just me, or does anybody else see that this is a real dangerous precedent to be setting. I can see that ok, these particular stores may have been involved in supplying the necessary equipment for hydroponic cultivation of cannabis, but there are plenty of hydroponic gardeners out there I'm sure that don't grow their own drugs, and use that exact same equipment, why must these people be subject to such, I think, draconian information gathering issues, where their every move is being logged, investigated by the police.
Lets put this in a term of reference that geeks will understand - bittorrent. Bittorrent as you know can be, perhaps is generally, used for the ostensibly illegal trading of copyright material, movies, mp3s that kind of thing. But it is also used for many legitimate purposes to spread bandwidth usage around the internet when serving up large files to many recipients in a short time frame is required. Should every single thing we get on bittorrent be logged to some national "hey you might be breaking copyright" database and investigated, should people be examining our bittorrenting and investigating us just because we used bittorrent and therefore COULD be committing copyright infringement. I would say NO, that would be a gross invasion of privacy.
So for now, the specific shops that were targeted in this "anti drugs operation" are now required to report to the police the actions of all their customers. How long before other businesses are required to do the same.
No sir. I don't like it.
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Comment by timestyles, on 28-Apr-2010 19:40
Not really, because I have to do the same for Neurofen Plus every week. Go to their website sog.co.nz and have a look around. Anyway, most of what they sell (anyone fancy a souped up wardrobe for $1100?) can be made from other parts, obtained without ID, whereas I really can't manufacture Neurphen using ingredients.
Comment by Al, on 28-Apr-2010 19:43
Lets get a few things straight this is a bail condition designed to stop further offending, yes thats right folks illegal stuff. Not something that can be imposed on any business unless its business is criminally illegal.
Secondly, your comparison to bit torrent is flawed - bit torrent, like hydroponics equipment *can* be used for illegal purposes, but this is not a case of can, but a case of was....as in equipment was being sold for illegal purposes, hell the staff were giving specific advise on how to grow dope.
Yes there maybe people out there with legitimate hydroponics business - they are not the ones who were commiting offences, and thus they are also not the ones facing bail conditions.
Pretty simple really - dont break the law = no problem.
How long before other business are required to do the same? Guess it depends whether they break criminal law!
Comment by Dratsab, on 28-Apr-2010 20:22
The "draconian" measures as you call them have been imposed as part of their bail conditions - I can't think of any cases where someones bail conditions have become a law for everyone else to abide by.
Your also incorrect when you say they have to "report to the police the actions of all their customers." They have to record specific details when specific equipment is sold and have that information available for viewing if police wish to view it.
This is no different to the regime that exists for all registered secondhand dealers. However, in this case these people appear to have been caught with their hand in the honeypot.
I see nothing wrong with this at all.
Comment by FreakyKiwi, on 29-Apr-2010 09:40
Its quite simple, this is a public bail condition - the public are aware of it. They can choose to go elsewhere...