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CA appeals order stopping spying on phones

The regulator has accused the judge of creating his own case on behalf of activist Okiya Omtatah and adjudicating on it/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 29 – The government is still keen to tap into private phone conversations after it moved to appeal a court order stopping it.

The Communications Authority (CA) of Kenya has challenged last month’s decision by the High Court restraining the State from spying on mobile phone conversations.

The CA has faulted Justice John Mativo’s verdict saying the finding was not supported by evidence.

The regulator has accused the judge of creating his own case on behalf of activist Okiya Omtatah and adjudicating on it.

CA claims that Justice Mativo erred by holding that the installation of the Device Management System (DMS) threatens the right to privacy.

The authority insists that DMS cannot access any other data other than what a mobile network operator allows it.

“The judge failed to realise that the installation of DMS is a multi-agency approach which is allowed to associate with other government agencies,” CA argues.

While stopping the government from tapping into phone conversations, Justice Mativo observed that introduction of DMS was inconsistent with consumer rights and does not fall within the Fair Administrative Act.

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

But Omtatah opposed the move and filed an application which was allowed by the court on grounds that the move was not consistent with the constitution.

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