Did they ever stop one would have to wonder? I attended the last pre-Christmas council meeting, the controversial one where they tried unsuccessfully to unseat the elected mayor, and former Councilor Anne Hunt told us her emails are being both intercepted and shared with third parties. On the strength of that she uses the recipients’ private email addresses. Such is the ongoing privacy debacle (or lack thereof) that’s happening planet wide. If you were inclined to the conspiratorial you’d call it Big Brother. But then ‘conspiracy theory’ was invented by those who want to deflect you from the real issue, they actually are spying on your every move online. It’s all recorded… to protect you from ‘terrorists’ of course. I was recently cited the latest amendments to the banking fraternity’s fine print saying I’d have to send my photo ID (you know that drivers license cum photo ID that you must carry with you, if you drive ie all the time). I had to send it because of the latest terrorist modifications to the fine print. Perhaps they fear they are going to blow up the banks? Or the ATMs? Anyway, the Council being the topic here, we now know it’s official that spying, I mean watching out for Council staff’s safety, means your communications will be perused by somebody there and it is going to be an ongoing practice for now. EnvirowatchHorowhenua
Council to restart controversial email screening
From the NZ Herald
Controversial email screening looks set to be restarted by Horowhenua District Council despite ongoing investigations into the practice.
A Finance and Risk committee recommended adopting a new version of the policy, altered to exclude elected councillors from having their emails vetted, but otherwise very similar to the previous policy, according to report-writer and HDC Corporate Services group manager Mark Lester.
The previous policy, where the council’s chief executive had emails from people on a “blacklist” redirected to himself personally, landed the council in hot water after it was picked up by an audit and labelled as an “extreme risk” that could breach privacy laws and damage the council’s reputation.
The council commissioned a peer review of the original audit, which then claimed no conclusion could be drawn over the practice due to a lack of working papers from the auditor.
Later statements from the council slammed the auditor as having not done his job properly.
A public outcry resulted in complaints to the Ombudsman and Privacy Commissioner’s office, who are investigating.
Mayor Michael Feyen, who had his emails vetted for up to three years, said he abstained from voting on adopting the new policy because he believed the council should wait for the results of the investigations.