Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Communication Authority Questioned by Senators on Involvement of Telcos in The New Mobile Spyware

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  • CA got the nod on April 21 when the Supreme Court dismissed an application by the Law Society of Kenya which sought to stop the implementation.
  • DMS is used to monitor text messages and phone calls but the government has defended it saying this was in a bid to identify any case of fraud.

The plan by the government to roll out the installation of mobile spyware is facing yet another headwind with Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei poking holes in the system.

Through the House Committee on Information, Communication and Technology, Cherargei wants the Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) to explain the rationale for its installation and why telecommunication service providers were not involved.

He argues that the planned rollout and implementation of the Device Management System (DMS) is likely to infringe on people’s privacy as well as compromise the security of phone users’ data.

“The Committee should explain why CA could not engage telecommunication companies to create an equipment identification register known as EIR on mobile phones instead of installing the DMS,” read his statement.

He further demands an explanation of the measures in place to curb the misuse of DMS owing to its ability to access private data including call records, messages, locations and mobile financial transactions.

CA got the nod on April 21 when the Supreme Court dismissed an application by the Law Society of Kenya which sought to stop the implementation as it would lead to intrusion into the private data of users.

The authority mooted the idea back in 2016 and invited bidders through a tender notice for the supply, delivery, installation, testing, commissioning and maintenance of the system.

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Broadband Communications, a company based in Kenya, was awarded the contract and it is set to work with a Lebanese company- Invigo Off-Shore Sal of Berytech Technology Centre.

It, however, faced legal hurdles with Kenyans including, LSK and telecommunication companies opposing it arguing it would violate privacy laws.

Safaricom is among the service providers that refused to install the tool on its network.

Samuel Musila
Samuel Musila
Passionate Software Developer and Tech content creator From Nairobi, Kenya

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