CA DECISION TO SPY ON KENYANS ILLEGAL, COURT RULE’S.

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Activist Okiya Omtatah before Justice Jogh Motivo.

BY SAM ALFAN.

High Court stops Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) from implementing decision of planting spy plant gadgets on all networks.

Justice John Mativo also ruled decision by CAK to implement the DMS system Was adopted inconsistent with the provisions of the constitution adding that there was no public participation hence null and void.

Court ruled that CAK Was obligated to craft and implement a meaningful program of public participation and stakeholders engagement in the process leading to the implementation of the system.

Justice John Mativo said the plan by the Communication Authority, to install spy gadgets, was adopted in a manner inconsistent with the Constitution.

Ruling on Thursday in a case filed by activist Okiya Omtatah, Mativo also said there wasn’t adequate public participation prior to its adoption and implementation.

The system was to be implemented through Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom.

“Subscribers of the three mobile companies were not engaged at all in the public consultation hence [the plan] is null and void for all purposes,” he ruled.

The judge noted the CA was obligated to draft and implement a meaningful programme of public participation and stakeholder engagement in the process leading to the decision, policy and implementation of the Device Management System (DMS) system.

Consequently, Mativo prohibited the CA from implementing the decision, or installing any connectivity between the DMS and the mobile companies, to access information on the IMEI, IMSI, MSISDN and CDRs of their subscribers.

Omtatah argued that the right to privacy is entrenched in the constitution and cannot be limited without reference to article 24 of the constitution.

Omtatah accused the CA of lying to Kenyans that the gadgets will only track fake equipment, arguing that there are existing laws being used by mobile network providers to detect fake phones.

The government on February 6 wrote to mobile telephone providers Safaricom Limited, Airtel Networks Limited and Orange-Telkom Kenya to allow the tapping of their computers by planting spying plant gadgets on all networks in the country.

The devices can access information stored by service providers and transacted on phone owned by individuals, including the times and dates of then communication, exact location of calls and duration of calls.

CAK lawyer told NairobiTimez, they will appeal the court decision.

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