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Communications Authority of Kenya denies phone spying claims

Communications Authority of Kenya denies phone spying claims

The Communications Authority (CA) has responded to reports that the government is looking to tap into users of mobile devices and snoop on the mobile subscribers.

According to the CA the Device Management System (DMS), which comes into effect on 21 February, will be able to detect counterfeit devices in the country and stop SIM Box technology which is illegal in Kenya.

However, reports in local mainstream media suggest that the system will be able to tap into user's information and the government will have the power to spy on subscribers.

At a press briefing, Francis Wangusi, Director General at CA, dismissed the allegations and said the system has nothing to do with content or anything that is being transacted on the networks.

"The device has only one way and it is being managed by the Communications Authority of Kenya. The device can only be queried by the mobile subscribers," he said, adding that there is no way the CA can access subscriber information with the system.

Wangusi explained that the DMS represents the second phase of the device verification process started in 2012 and that was agreed upon by all stakeholders in the industry.

"The authority is in the process of deploying the second phase of the system in order to manage the menace of counterfeit devices," he said.

The Consumer Federation of Kenya (Cofek) has said it intends to go to court to challenge the implementation of the system.

Wangusi also said the resistance by some mobile networks is based on the fact that they currently benefit from illegal SIM Box technology and income from counterfeits.

"The system is being deployed in close consultation with the local mobile network operators. Contrary to the claims through Cofek, the implementation of the system is being coordinated by a team that has the involvement mobile network operator, the CA and other relevant agencies."

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