Monday, February 16, 2015

This is not what police are for

There's some sportsball thing going on at the moment, and the police are busy arresting people for telling people about it:

Betting cheats evicted from the Cricket World Cup opening match in Christchurch used multiple cellphones and laptops to relay information to people overseas willing to pay big money for the information, police say.

A security expert said police probably knew who they were looking for before Saturday's game began.

Police arrested "several" individuals and groups for courtsiding during the New Zealand versus Sri Lanka match at Hagley Oval.

All were trespassed from future International Cricket Council events.

Courtsiding refers to a spectator at an event sending immediate information on game scores and activities before it is broadcast. The delay can be up to 15 seconds and allows people overseas to make spot bets.

The problem: while its against the ground entry conditions, telling people overseas what is happening at a sporting event you are attending is not actually illegal. So while police are acting properly in removing people from the grounds on the request of the property owners, the pre-game and in-game surveillance (which includes social media monitoring and a threat to monitor phones) seems entirely unjustified. What law are these people breaking?

The purpose of the police is to enforce the law. If its not illegal, they have no business getting involved. Its that simple.