When former communications minister Amy Adams upgraded telecommunications law in 2013 to enable police and intelligence agencies to eavesdrop on internet-transmitted communications, techies in New Zealand went pale when they saw the demands.

From the following year, telcos and internet providers with more than 4,000 customers over a six month period had to provide full interception capability when served with a warrant.

Smaller providers had to be ready to help authorities under the new Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Act of 2013, or be slapped with hair-raisingly large fines if they couldn't.


It was one of those seemingly intractable