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CA says DMS system aimed at counterfeits, not spying

CAK says the Device Management System (DMS) will only identify and block communication of counterfeit mobile devices, adding that this will block

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 17 – The Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) has denied that it has intentions of spying on Kenyans through a planned installation of a device on mobile operators’ systems.

CAK says the Device Management System (DMS) will only identify and block communication of counterfeit mobile devices.

The Director General of the Authority Francis Wangusi, says the system does not access a subscriber’s personal information as claimed in a section of the media.

He says the accusations levelled against the CA are a “total and complete white lie” adding that the system is being implemented in close consultation with mobile operators and consumer protection organisations.

Wangusi says the mobile operator’s system can only query the authority’s database to find out if the device making a call is a genuine or blacklisted.

If the device is blacklisted it is the mobile operator who can block the blacklisted devices.

“Mobile operators are telling us they have zero unregistered phones on their network but when we go out there on inspections and compliance exercises, we are finding many people with pre-activated SIM cards contrary to what operators are telling us,” said Wangusi.

Wangusi says neighbouring countries have written to the Authority complaining about the volumes of illegal traffic originating from Kenya.

“This is posing a challenge in the implementation of one network area – intended to have a free call zone as if you are making a local call within the northern corridor member states.”

The DG says the DMS will also stop SIM-boxing – an illegal practice used by unscrupulous people to divert and terminate telecommunications traffic.

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