, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 27 – A mobile phone application that allows subscribers to secretly monitor other people’s cell phone call data and SMSs is gathering popularity among Kenyans, especially those who want to spy on their partners.
The application dubbed ‘Juju’ is discreetly loaded onto the suspect’s phone and it automatically forwards all incoming and outgoing calls and messages to the spying partner’s phone.
Speaking exclusively to Capital News, Juju Limited Managing Director George Njoroge said the application also has an added GPS feature that tells users their target’s location.
“Once phone A receives an SMS, it forwards to phone B immediately no matter where or how far the phones are from each other. So as long as there is GPS and a GSM network it will do it,” he said.
“If phone A is off it will show on phone B and once it is switched on, all the data it had collected will be sent to phone B.”
Installing the software costs Sh15,000 and Mr Njoroge claimed that 400 people had subscribed to it over the last three days. He was however quick to point out that once the software was installed, the cost implications of forwarding the data would be met by the ‘suspect’.
“The persons being monitored unknowingly pays for the SMSs but we advice our clients to load the phones that they are monitoring with credit so as to reduce conflict,” he said.
Separately, the Communications Commission of Kenya said it had launched investigations to establish whether the application was legal in Kenya. The software vendor however argued that it was primarily designed to enhance security.
“You have a right to know what your child is doing and you have a right to know what is happening in your home. That in itself is a security concern; the same way you would install CCTV in your home and in your office. It is a mobile CCTV,” he said.
He further absolved himself and the company from any harm that might be caused out of using the software: “Some people might want to abuse the application and monitor their wives, husbands, girlfriends or boyfriends but that is not what we are after because spying on such persons won’t add any value to you. Guns protect people but can also kill.”
However, Nairobi lawyer Evans Monari told Capital News that the application infringed on the law, which states that the private communication of a person should not be interfered with.
Mr Monari asked the police to stop the retailers and subscribers of the software from using it as it could easily be abused.
“More specifically, the Kenya Communications Act number II of 1998 at section 32 makes it an offence to obstruct or intercept transmission or to acquaint oneself with the contents of any private message,” he said adding that the offence attracted a fine of Sh1 million or a five year jail time or both.
He also discounted the reasoning by the vendors that it was designed to enhance children’s security: “There are other ways of looking after children…there are other ways of taking care of our spouses other than spying on them.”