In Summary

  • He said a proliferation of illegal communication devices in Kenya demanded quick implementation of the system.
  • The system is being implemented by a Kenyan firm, Broadband Communication, and a Lebanese company, Invigo, at a cost of Sh207 million. 
  • The stated aim is to identify stolen handsets, counterfeit phones as well as devices that have not been type-approved by the government.

The government has said it will go ahead with a plan to install a monitoring system on mobile phone networks despite a public outcry.

Defending the Device Management System (DMS), Communication Authority Director-General Francis Wangusi said he would not stop its implementation, not even for public consultation.

Mr Wangusi said the DMS had been in the works for almost a year and that consultation with mobile operators was sufficient.

He said a proliferation of illegal communication devices in Kenya demanded quick adoption of the system.

“If we want to protect this country from such predatory behaviour, we should not backtrack from the plan,” he said.

The CA boss added that vendor contracts prevented it from changing the project’s timelines.

There are concerns that the DMS might be used to intercept calls and text messages.

The system is being implemented by Kenyan firm Broadband Communications and Lebanese company Invigo for Sh207 million. 

Tender documents indicate that the DMS will sit on mobile networks, collecting data on the type of devices that are active.

The stated aim is to identify stolen handsets, counterfeit phones as well as devices that have not been type-approved by the government.

A whitelist of legitimate phones would be developed.

A blacklist will contain phones to be blocked from network access.

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