Safaricom Rejects Regulator’s Surveillance Plan
Kenyan operator Safaricom has expressed its displeasure and hesitation over plans by the industry regulator to monitor mobile phone use, reports Citizen News. This comes after the Communications Authority (CA) announced it would be installing a monitoring device on all operators’ networks to keep an eye on mobile users who may be engaged in illegal activity and curb use of counterfeit phones in the country.
Safaricom said the monitoring amounts to prying on mobile users. Safaricom Corporate Affairs Director Stephen Chege said the Device Management System (DMS) gives CA access to sensitive customer information that could open up serious legal hurdles. Chege said these probes will replicate the entire network – including voice, SMS and in the case of Safaricom, mobile money, and make this data available to the CA.
CA Director General Francis Wangusi maintains the regulator’s intentions are noble and the system does not access a subscriber’s personal information as claimed in the media. He said that the system is being implemented in close consultation with mobile operators and consumer protection organisations. Kenya plans to have the USD 2 million DMS operational by the end of June. Wangusi said they have been in consultations with the mobile operators and stakeholders since last year and nobody complained.