Government to Install New Gadgets That Will Track All Information on Your Mobile Phones

Panic has gripped Kenyans who own mobile phones across the country after the government asked telephone service providers including Safaricom, Airtel, and Telkom to allow it plant gadgets on their networks.

The gadgets, which insiders call “black boxes" will have the ability to listen, read and track down individuals from any part of the country who own a mobile device. 

Officials from the Communications Authority (CA), which is the industry regulator, will start installing the gadgets from next week at mobile switching rooms and their data links.

According to a source who spoke to a local daily, the black boxes will gain access to all information transacted on your phone, times and dates of the communication as well as the exact location where one is placing the calls and information on your messages. 

“The black box will have access to all information on our network. With the system, they will tell where you are, who you have called, and how long you will have stayed at a place. If you paid by mobile money, say M-Pesa, they can tell how much you were charged, and so on,” the source told the Standard.

The Consumer Federation of Kenya (COFEK) has warned that they will sue CA and other operators if they implement the system.

“This system will compromise consumer privacy and monitor calls and text messages while exposing consumers to higher billing and occasion poor quality services,” Cofek Secretary General Stephen Mutoro was quoted.

The move has triggered fear among Kenyans that the government is planning to spy on them as the country heads towards the General Election.