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Kenyan law to open door for CCK spying

Kenya , 20 Jan 2014

Kenyan law to open door for CCK spying

Private information of Kenyan mobile network users is set to become available to the country’s communications watchdog without the need for a court order.

The expected signing of the Kenya Information and Communication Amendment Act (KICA) 2013 into law later this week is set to provide the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) with unbridled access to consumers’ confidential information.

“A licensee shall grant the authority’s officers access to its systems, premises, facilities, files , records and other data to enable the authority inspect such systems, premises, facilities, files, records and other data for compliance with the act and these regulations,” reads part of the updated regulations.

However, the updated regulations may be in direct contravention of article 31 of the constitution of Kenya, which guarantees citizens’ rights to privacy.

To justify the updated regulations; though, the CCK says they relied on the constitution’s article 35, which allows any citizen access to “information held by the state or any information that is held by another person and that is required for the exercise or protection of any right or fundamental freedom.”

“In this respect, Section 93 of the Kenya Information and Communications Act, 1998 provides for the manner in which such information is to be applied. The said section provides that access to information and restrictions on disclosure of information held by the authority shall be implemented pursuant to article 35 of the Constitution. It is noteworthy that the said article binds all state organs and persons,” the CCK has said.

Mobile operators, led by Safaricom have said they have not been consulted when the regulations was being drafted.

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