17 May 2012

Kenya: CCK Defends Plan to Monitor Private Emails

The Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) will not back down from plans to monitor personal emails in efforts to ensure security on the cyber space. The regulator recently kicked off the process of monitoring data traffic online from July, has said the need for security overrides need for privacy. Michael Katundu,CCK's acting director for Information Technology said, "The war on terror has compelled the world to intrude into personal privacy. There is a very thin line between privacy and security".

The regulator says in order for Kenya to reap the benefits of the Internet and information resources its its job to ensure online platforms are secure. "This, in one aspect, calls for monitoring data traffic in order to identify any potential threats at the earliest instance thus enabling us to put in place appropriate and timely response measures" said Katundu. CCK's action has been supported by the ministry of Information and Communication and other security agents though in some instances opposed by individual internet users.

In March, CCK sent letters to mobile operators demanding that co-operation in installation of the Network Early Warning Systems (NEWS) which is an Internet traffic monitoring equipment. "These proactive systems (measures) play a significant role by providing vital information and behavioral patterns that go a long way in assisting with the investigations, in case of a crime," said the CCK representative while addressing reporters on Wednesday in Nairobi.

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