Covert recording bill defeated in SA Parliament

A bill to control the publication of covertly recorded video has been defeated in the Legislative Council of the South Australian Parliament.

Greens MLC Tammy Franks said the surveillance devices bill would have put legal restrictions on the use of video or pictures.

She said an owner of covertly obtained videos or other images would have to prove to a judge there was a public interest before such content could be released.

"The concerns with this bill were held by both the media and also civil society advocates for whether it was animal rights or consumer affairs," she said.

"They could see that this bill would require them to go through lengthy court processes to reveal information that is in the public interest."

South Australian Attorney-General John Rau said there would have been an exemption for mainstream media from requiring any judicial approval ahead of publication.

He said for that reason he could not understand why the Opposition and minor parties had defeated the legislation in the Upper House.

Mr Rau said requests for internet bloggers to be protected were unacceptable to the Government.

"My dealings with some of the people ... that I've had to deal with over the years [have been that] they have an ideological position which is an extremist position," he said.

Mr Rau said the regulation of police use of covertly obtained video and audio had now been delayed because of the legislation's defeat.

"We are in a position now where we have a piece of legislation which is 20 or 30 years old which is completely inadequate to deal with our current technology environment and it needs to be fixed," he said.

"I've tried to fix it for the last two years and I've yet again been thwarted by the Legislative Council, which is not unusual."

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