19 April 2018

Kenya: Court Declares Tapping of Phones Illegal

Photo: Nairobi News

Nairobi — Plans by the government to tap into private phone conversations is illegal and a violation of consumer rights, the High Court has declared.

Judge John Mativo ruled that the move by Communications Authority to install spy gadgets is inconsistent with the Constitution.

According to the judge, the decision needed adequate public participation before implementation.

That having not been done, CA has been prohibited from implementing the decision or installing any connectivity through Broadband Communication Network to spy subscribers of Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom Kenya.

CA was to tap into conversations by planting spy gadgets on all the networks.

But human rights activist Okiya Omtatah lodged a case opposing the move on grounds that CA was required to draft and implement a meaningful programme of public participation and stakeholders' engagement in the process leading to the resolution.

The Communications Authority is said to have written to the mobile phone companies requesting to be allowed to tap into conversations.

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