Giving of Customer Information to Police

Joshua Grainger made this Official Information request to New Zealand Police

The request was partially successful.

From: Joshua Grainger

Dear New Zealand Police,

It was published on the New Zealand Herald website today that bank account details of Kim Dotcom and his staff were given by their banks without a search warrant ("Police got Dotcom's bank details").

I would like to request under the Official Information Act some information about Police getting customer information from companies in three different sectors: cellular providers, internet service providers, and banks.

I would like to request:

1) Any manuals, policies, instrutions, or other such informative documents dealing with requesting customer information from companies in any of the three highlighted sectors. It is hard to judge from the titles, but I believe police manuals that may deal with this may include:
* Disclosing personal and official information
* Forensic - Electronic crime
* Intel - Intelligence for investigations
* Introduction to finance policies
* Mobile phones
* Request for information - description
* Search Without Warrant
* Search
Although please do not restrict my request to just these documents.

2) If it is not revealed in the answer to 1, a list of which companies in the three highlighted sectors, restricted to those which operate in New Zealand, have over the last three years:
a) have gave Police more often than not customer information without a warrant
b) have sometimes given the Police customer information without a warrant
c) have never given the Police customer information without a warrant

3) The form letter or document for requesting customer information from companies in these three sectors. If no form letter exists then I would like to request the letters sent to ANZ, Westpac, and BNZ requesting information during the Dotcom investigation.

Feel free to contact me if you wish me to clarify my request. If any documents are to be withheld from request one I would wish to know the titles/subject matter and dates of them. I would prefer an electronic response delivered via email to this address.

With regards to s12(1) of the OIA I am a New Zealand citizen resident in New Zealand.

Yours faithfully,

Joshua Grainger

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Alex Harris left an annotation ()

Its not in "Disclosing personal and official information"; we've already seen that one:

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From: BERRY, Paul
New Zealand Police




Your OIA request below refers.


Can you please provide sufficient contact details to prove that you are
resident in NZ - eg a postal address, telephone number.








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Joshua Grainger left an annotation ()

Emailed out of band to confirm my details.

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From: THOMSON, Raewyn
New Zealand Police

Attachment grainger joshua 12 143 9.pdf
40K Download View as HTML

Attachment Grainger joshua Production orders Police Manual extract.pdf
84K Download View as HTML

Attachment Grainger joshua request form.pdf
28K Download View as HTML






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addressee only and may contain privileged information. It may also be
subject to the provisions of section 50 of the Policing Act 2008, which
creates an offence to have unlawful possession of Police property. If you
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From: Joshua Grainger

Dear Mr Berry,

Thank you very much for your response.

I was hoping that the Police would reconsider their answer to question 2, which was declined on the basis that the Police do not hold the information. The Ombudsman has made clear, information in someone's head is just as much information under the OIA as documentary information (see the Ombudsmen Quarterly Review: Volume 4, Issue 3). As such, to say that the information is not held would imply that no employee of the Police, to take question 2(b), knows any companies that have given up customer information without a warrant.

I imagine that this would untenable, particularly given that the story I cited in my original request would imply that the Police know that at least three banks fall in the category of 2(a) or 2(b). I also imagine that if a company took a particularly litigious view to providing customer data, then a Police employee would know of this reputation, and thus this information would fall under the scope of the OIA.

Yours sincerely,

Joshua Grainger

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From: BERRY, Paul
New Zealand Police


As indicated in my response, Police do not collect that data. We have over 10,000 employees, deal with over 200,000 recorded offences per year, and hundreds of thousands of incidents and events. We make numerous requests to all range of companies.

We have no need to record that data, therefore we don't.

The Ombudsman has also acknowledged that we are not required to make documents that don't exist.

If you read my answer to the other questions you will see that we make requests pursuant to the Privacy Act Provisions and now the Search & Surveillance Act. Therefore not every case will have a warrant (now a Production Order).Therefore you can presume that all companies have given information under warrant or under the Privacy provisions. But we keep no details about that activity as indicated in my answer.

Sorry but I can not take this any further.

Paul Berry

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