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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 April 16 - 22  > Ogata at anti-wiretapping rally talks about his experience being bugged
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2014 April 16 - 22 [CIVIL RIGHTS]

Ogata at anti-wiretapping rally talks about his experience being bugged

April 16, 2014
Japanese Communist Party Vice Chair Ogata Yasuo on April 14 gave a speech at a rally in Tokyo held to oppose the expansion of the scope of police wiretapping being discussed in a taskforce of the Legislative Council of the Justice Ministry.

Ogata spoke about his own experience of being wiretapped by the Kanagawa police that came to light in 1986. The Tokyo High Court in 1997 ordered the state and the Kanagawa authorities to pay damages to the then JCP International Bureau head.

Ogata also talked about his Diet battle in 1999, when he was still in the Upper House chamber, against the wiretapping law enacted over strong opposition from media workers and lawyers.

The former Dietmember said, “It is totally impossible for phone-hacking practices to not intrude on citizens’ privacy. The existence of the current law itself is against the Japanese Constitution. We shouldn’t allow any more sneaky tactics to be given to the security police.”

Lawyer Iwamura Norihumi, former member of the Justice Ministry Legislative Council said, “Law enforcement officers can exercise their strong authority to investigate crimes by obtaining court permission after the criminal activities occur. Expanding the scope of the wiretapping law will give a much stronger authority to act before any crime takes place.” The lawyer expressed his concern that it will change the very essence of a law-abiding country itself.

The present law allows phone and email interception only in cases of crimes like organized crime murders and drug deals. The ministry’s taskforce is working on revision of the law integral with an anti-conspiracy law and considering enlarging the sphere of eavesdropping activities to thefts and robberies. It also seeks to legalize the monitoring of indoor conversations.

Past related article:
>Anti-conspiracy law will allow emergence of increase in police surveillance [December 15, 2013]
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