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General News of Friday, 1 June 2018

Source: My News GH

Kelni GVG deal: 'We fear massive breach of network users’ privacy' - Ken Ashigbey


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The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications Ken Ashigbey has said that his outfit fears massive privacy breach in the Telcos monitoring contract the Ministry of Communications under Ursula Owusu-Ekufulhas signed with Kelni GVG.

In a statement copied to MyNewsGh.com signed by the boss of the Chamber, the GCT said they have sought to in good faith collaborate with the Ministry and the National Communication Authority to resolve the challenges they have identified.

They said voice and other data will be exposed and is a cause for worry.

“The monitoring mechanism has the capability to actively or passively record, monitor, or tap into the content of any incoming or outgoing electronic communications traffic such as voice.” They said. “The proposed connection point will risk exposing content of voice traffic. The voice transaction damp for the revenue assurance tool should be enough without risking individual customer privacy. We are minded that the law does not talk about intent but capability, which the current architecture processes.” They added.

Read full statement below

MOBILE INDUSTRY POSITION ON THE COMMON PLATFORM MONITORING SYSTEM

As an industry, which has been monitored for close to a decade, we are not averse to monitoring, as we do not have anything to hide.

Monitoring activities by the government was established by law – the Communication Service Tax (CST) Amendment Act, 2013 (Act 864).This law was preceded by the Electronic Communication Amendment Act, 2009 (Act 786) which authorized the monitoring of international incoming calls. This legal framework not only established the basis for monitoring activities but also prescribed certain design and connection standards for the monitoring system. As a law-abiding industry we only seek that the monitoring conducted through the common platform, should be done according to the very law that empowers the NCA and GRA to monitor us.

Breach of Privacy

Our informed position is that the current architecture from the NCA and KelniGVG does not conform to these design standards. The architecture does not provide our customers the privacy of their communication that the constitution guarantees them.

We are of the firm belief that continued collaboration between our technical teams and that of the NCA can resolve the difficulties that currently exist. Indeed we have as an industry, submitted alternative designs for consideration to the NCA and MoC in good faith, for consideration. The present challenges are as follows:

a. The current architecture seeks to connect beyond the equivalent point in the network where the network providers billing systems are connected;

b. The monitoring mechanism has the capability to actively or passively record, monitor, or tap into the content of any incoming or outgoing electronic communications traffic such as voice. The proposed connection point will risk exposing content of voice traffic. The voice transaction damp for the revenue assurance tool should be enough without risking individual customer privacy. We are minded that the law does not talk about intent but capability, which the current architecture processes.

As an industry we are committed to collaborate with the NCA and align on an architecture that will achieve its purpose and also remain compliant [and is acceptable by all stakeholders].

The mobile industry is fully persuaded that there is opportunity to continue to collaborate with the NCA/KelnliGVG to ensure that the Common Platform meets the legal requirement of the law; preserve the security of our networks as well as ensure the privacy of our customers whilst assuring government visibility of any revenues due it.

Signed

*Kenneth Ashigbey* *Chief Executive Officer* *Ghana Chambers of Telecommunications

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