Concept

National Law Enforcement System

Summary
The National Law Enforcement System, better known as the Wanganui Computer, was a database set up in 1976 by the State Services Commission in Wanganui, New Zealand. It held information which could be accessed by New Zealand Police, Land Transport Safety Authority and the justice department. The Wanganui computer was a Sperry mainframe computer built to hold records such as criminal convictions and car and gun licences. At the time it was deemed ground-breaking, with Minister of Police, Allan McCready, describing it as "probably the most significant crime-fighting weapon ever brought to bear against lawlessness in this country". Seen by many as a Big Brother initiative, the database was controversial, attracting numerous protests from libertarians with concerns over privacy. The most notable event was in 1982, when self-described anarchist punk Neil Roberts, aged 22, detonated a home-made gelignite bomb upon his person at the gates of the centre, making him New Zealand's highest-profi
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