(CNS): According to a leaked memo, which was sent by the Information and Communications Technology Authority’s director to local telecommunications firms, government authorities are planning to widen their spying net and wire taps to include all kinds of electronic information. The memo, sent on 15 October, calling the private companies to a meeting indicates that the local authorities are planning revised regulations that will allow the authorities to not only tap phones but wider communication networks as well. While this is supposed to assist the RCIPS in legal investigations, without oversight or a data protection law the authorities will be able to collect masses of information with newly purchased spying equipment.
Almost $1 million has been set aside in this budget for the specialist surveillance equipment to intercept electronic communications, which the police have already purchased, sources told CNS this week. However, the cops now need to get inside the local communication networks to check that it can do the job required, especially with the upgrades that most of the local telecoms firms have recently undertaken.
The ICTA’s director, David Archbold who is himself currently under an investigation regarding possible irregularities relating to recruitment at the government authority, told the local telecom firms and internet service providers that government had instructed the authority to draft new regulations to mandate the provision of legal interception facilities for the police by the telecom firms.