Some victims of wrongful government bugging and surveillance may be informed that they were targeted, under a proposed amendment to the covert surveillance bill. But the concession falls short of the wider notification requirement many lawmakers and both the Bar Association and the Law Society had called for. The amendment provides that the independent commissioner on interception of communications and surveillance may notify the subjects wrongfully targeted if it is found during regular random reviews that the spying was not authorised. Previously, the bill only provided for notification when someone who suspects they are being monitored lodges a complaint with the commissioner and is found to have been wrongfully targeted. But since it will not be practicable for the commissioner to review every case, he will effectively be able to scrutinise only a small selection of cases. Democrat James To Kun-sun, whose Interception of Communications Ordinance was passed in Legco in 1997 but never brought into force, said the proposed mechanism was too narrow. 'You should have a general notification requirement - in every case, you have to notify the target after the ending of the operation, except that you can ask the court to exempt your requirement to notify on good grounds,' he said. 'So long as the court considers it would be prejudicial to the prevention and detection of crime and a threat to public order, the judge can exempt you from this requirement.' Mr To gave the example of a drug dealer and his girlfriend who were being monitored. After the drug dealer was prosecuted and jailed, if the girlfriend was found to be innocent, she should be notified unless the exemption criteria was satisfied. Mr To plans to propose his own amendment to this notification system. Members have until July 3 to submit amendments if they are to pass the bill before Legco goes into recess on July 12. Bills Committee chairwoman Miriam Lau Kin-yee yesterday said formal representations would have to be made to the House Committee by June 30 if the bill was to resume its second reading before the council on July 12. Democrat Albert Ho Chun-yan said lawmakers could not make any promises, as it would depend on whether they agreed with the new amendments the government was due to submit by the end of this week.