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Court halts State's bid to tap phones

By Paul Ogemba | February 21st 2017


A plan by the Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) to start spying on mobile phone users has been suspended.

Justice John Mativo Monday granted the order suspending CA's directive to mobile phone service providers to place gadgets in their transmission sites to monitor mobile phone use following an application by activist Okiya Omtatah. 

“Having read the application and supporting affidavit, I am satisfied that the application is urgent and raises serious questions. I therefore grant orders suspending the directives issued by Communication Authority to mobile providers pending determination of this suit,” ruled Mr Mativo.

The decision came as a relief for members of the public who feared the Government's plan to listen to their calls, read text messages and review mobile money transactions ahead of the August 8 polls.

On January 31 and February 6, CA wrote to mobile phone service providers Safaricom Ltd, Airtel Networks Ltd and Orange-Telkom Kenya to allow the tapping of their computers by planting spy plant gadgets on all networks starting today.

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