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Police in New Zealand will pay Vodafone NZ$1.1 million to be allowed access to encrypted cell phone calls.

According to Stuff.co.nz, the Crimes Act in New Zealand already allows the police to intercept phone calls, but they can't decipher the encrypted calls made on the Vodafone network.

Paul Swain, the communications minister, said that the money had been allocated for the deal, which was expected to be completed in a few weeks.

Meanwhile, the New Zealand police forces are outraged that they have to foot the bill. The president of the Police Association, Greg O'Connor, complained that in the US and Australia the responsibility lies with the service provider to give the police access to calls.

"In New Zealand it doesn't happen. In New Zealand the telecommunications companies are creaming it off police," he said. ®

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