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FIC secret tapping takes centre stage in Parliament

By OLIVER SAMBOKO

GOVERNMENT was yesterday squeezed in Parliament to explain reports that the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) is involved in intercepting citizens’ phone calls and data to extract information.

This followed a question by PNUP Nalolo Member of Parliament, Imanga Wamunyima who wanted to know whether Government is aware that citizens’ phone, WhatsApp and Skype calls as well as short message systems are tapped into by the FIC as reported in the Daily Nation Newspaper of Thursday, September 23, 2021

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Mr Wamunyima also wanted to know whether the act is not an infringement of citizens’ right to privacy as enshrined in the Constitution and what urgent measures are being taken to ensure that citizens’ right to privacy is protected.

In responding to the question, Minister for Technology and Science Felix Mutati who was at pains to deny the reports, said his government was not aware of any FIC tapping of phones.

He said the FIC does not operate outside the provisions of the law, adding that it is well guided by the FIC Act no 46 of 2010, read together with FIC Amendment Act no 4 of 2016 and FIC Amendment Act 16 of 2020.

Mr Mutati also said that the Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Act 2021, prohibits interception of  citizen’s communication and also the Data Protection Act 3 of 2021 provides for the protection of personal information and this ensures that the citizens’ rights to privacy is guaranteed and protected.

And asked what the government was going to do to assure the citizens that their right to privacy was not being compromised, Mr Mutati said FIC has already issued a statement on the matter.

Pressed further to state if the government was going to follow up the matter with the Daily Nation to get more facts, the minister said if the information in the article was credible, the source of the information would have been mentioned by the tabloid.

Mr Mutati also said the ministry will take measures to educate and assure the citizens that there is no tapping of phones by the FIC.   

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