A new regulation has now authorized police to spy on citizens on a large scale.
Under the Regulation on Special Tactics for Investigations publicized on Monday, police are now authorized to monitor the actions of suspects of a crime by bugging their homes and vehicles with cameras and listening devices.
The regulation also allows police to install cameras and listening devices in the homes and vehicles of suspects of major crimes for monitoring, and to examine communication devices. Police are now authorized to conduct sting operations to apprehend suspects in the middle of a crime.
Police are permitted to obtain information by forming a relationship with a suspect and impersonating another person when communicating with a suspect. However, they are allowed to use the new measures in certain situations such as when there is a threat to national security or a major crime.
Although a court order is required to install cameras in homes and vehicles and to bug communication devices, any officer above the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police can authorize sting operations and undercover operations.
Evidence obtained using these measures is permissible in courts. Police have been acquiring information in some of these ways. The information has been used for intelligence purposes but has never been considered as evidence in courts.
While police have been authorized to use new measures, there has been an increasing number of complaints regarding officers abusing the power they have been provided under the Police Act.