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Judge suspends govt’s attempt to spy on phone calls, texts

The High Court has temporarily barred the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) from installing the controversial communication monitoring device management system, which will enable it to tap phone calls.

Milimani High Court Judge Justice John Mativo on Monday suspended the installation of the system pending the hearing and determination of a case filed by activist Okiya Omtatah.

The court ruled that CA or any person claiming to be their agent would not give effect to the decision contained in two letters dated 31st January and 6th February 2017.

Last week, Mr Omtata moved to court seeking orders to stop the installation of the system, which he argued would snoop on Kenyans’ mobile phone devices.

VIOLATES LAW

The activist argued that CA’s arbitrary decision to spy on Kenyans violates the constitution.

According to the court documents, the authority wanted to be allowed from Tuesday to listen to calls, read text messages and review mobile money transactions involving the public.

The activist argued that the right to privacy is entrenched in the Constitution and could not be limited without reference to article 24 of the Constitution.

Orange Telkom Kenya, Airtel Networks Kenya Limited and Safaricom Limited were listed as interested parties in the case.

The case will be heard on March 6.