Court terms illegal proposal to tap phones

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The High Court has declared as unconstitutional plans by the Communications Authority of Kenya to compel mobile service providers give access to their systems.

Justice John Mativo ruled that the Communications Authority of Kenya has gone overboard as the move will be an infringement on mobile subscribers’ privacy.

Activist Okiyah Omtatah filed a case to oppose the move saying if CA had intended to lock out counterfeit phones from the country they should start at the point of entry and not going after consumers have purchased the gadgets.

It was a reprieve for millions of mobile phone users across the country after the high court rejected plans by the Communications Authority of Kenya to spy on mobile phone conversations.

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In a case challenging the move by the Communications Authority of Kenya requiring mobile service providers including Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom Kenya to give access to their systems, the court ruled that the purported installation of a Data Management System DMS is unconstitutional.

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Justice John Mativo ruled that accessing mobile telephone subscriber’s information in a manner other than which is provided under the law infringes on the right to privacy.

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The court further faulted the authority for failing to consult stakeholders before making the plans.

Activist Omtatah argues that the software which can collect text, voice and identify data from mobile phones will allow Communications Authority of Kenya to access Kenyan’s private information.

And 12 interested parties have been enjoined in an ongoing case at the Machakos high court where a local NGO Equality Now is opposing a petition filed by Dr. Tatu Kamau seeking the legalization of female genital mutilation FGM.

In the case filed in August last year Dr. Tatu argues that all women over 18 years be allowed to undergo the cut. During the mentioning of the case Justice David Kemei said any interested party could be enjoined at any point of the proceedings due to its sensitivity.

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Finally, the man accused of defrauding members of parliament and the public using the name of Murang’a Women Representative Sabina Chege will spend seven more days in custody as his pre-bail report is not ready.

Chief Magistrate Roseline Oganyo ordered Benson Masubo alias Waziri Chacha to remain custody until the Probation Officers report about his residence and docility is availed in court on April 25.

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