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Kenya: Report says that Safaricom is a helpful hand in the breaches of incepting intelligence for the Security Organization!

The international Non-Government Organization Privacy International dropped another gem today with a report on the surveillance and on how the Kenyan Authorities get their ability to get intelligence and how they use the communications platforms to get knowledge. The worrying way is how the Safaricom and the Kenyan Authorities together spies on the population.

This report through different methods and also interviews, as much as people who have worked on the inside has told stories how the Security organization has used the giant Kenyan Telecommunication Company Safaricom. All should be done with court orders, still there are proof now of internal squabble inside Safaricom where there are even undercover agents inside the company. Take a look at key points of the report!

Court order to require Intelligence:

“In practice, if not in law, Kenya’s surveillance regime appears bifurcated. The NIS intercepts both communication content and acquires call data records without warrants to gather intelligence and prevent crime, and police agencies acquire communications data with warrants to prepare criminal cases. If it’s ‘just’ for intelligence, explained one police ATPU investigator, then warrants are not sought: “For the sake of investigations, the DCI [Directorate of Criminal Investigations officer] attached to Safaricom will just give [it to] you… When you take someone to court, you have to make it proper now.” Safaricom stated to PI that they “only provide information as required by courts…and upon receipt of relevant court orders.” (Privacy International, P: 16, 2017).

Internet Providers and NIS:

“One internet service provider recalled the difference between his experiences with the police and with the NIS: “A [police] agency comes to me, and they give me the Occurrence Book (OB) number of the case they are investigating…. The NIS has unfettered access to data.” The NIS simply contacted this operator for the data it required. “They will say ‘give us [data for] whenever X calls Y over this time period’, for example…In instances involving terrorism, no warrants are produced. We have to comply or there is the threat that our licenses [will] be revoked.” A Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) officer confirmed his account: “they’ll get their license revoked [if they do not comply]… If I were them, I’d comply too” (Privacy International, P: 17, 2017).

Safaricom CID Connection:

“The major telecommunications providers have at least one law enforcement liaison, a police officer of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (CID) on secondment. This analysis focuses on Safaricom, by far Kenya’s most popular mobile service provider with over 60% of the market share. At Safaricom, around ten CID officers sit on one floor of the Safaricom central bloc. They provide information to all police branches” (Privacy International, P: 20, 2017).

“The reported presence of NIS officers undercover in Safaricom and possibly other telecommunication network operators presents serious concerns as to whether any civilian authority or mechanism would be able to effectively oversee the process of communications interception. “The way we know they are here is that they’ll be present, seconded from somewhere else, but then suddenly they’ll disappear,” explained one CA employee. “And then you hear your colleagues saying ‘didn’t you know, that guy was NIS?’ They keep very much to themselves. You’ll even find your boss some time suspecting you of being NIS.” According to sources, by building rapport with civilian officers, NIS are able to informally access communications data. “Of course [the NIS officer in Safaricom] will liaise with the Safaricom engineer… Once there is information that he needs, or that our office needs, he gets in, he talks to the engineer, he is given access,” explained a current NIS officer. “Because in Safaricom, every time you log into the database to check for a certain number, you have to put your code there. … It depends on the rapport he has with the engineers…. They trust him.” (Privacy International, P: 21, 2017).

The use of Safaricom and the surveillance shows the problematic relationship between the government and the private telecom company. That the State Security Agents are not using warrants getting intelligence and private intercepts online shows how little the value of the citizens are. When the government security agents can breach public space without court orders and when they have undercover agents inside the biggest telecom in Kenya, shows how they breach the public sphere to get access and intelligence from the inside. This is a worrying side. Peace.

Reference:

Privacy International – ‘Track, Capture, Kill: Inside Communications Surveillance and Counterterrorism in Kenya’ (15.03.2017)

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My letter to the Minister of Interior Affairs of Kenya Hon. Joseph Nkaissery on detaining John Ngirachu

Nkaissey 121115

Dear Sir Honorable Joseph Nkaissery!

You did say this yesterday!

To the whole world you said this:

 “Listen there is way, to tell you, You cannot get AWAY with allegation. So it is up to you, if you don’t want to relieve the sources, then you’ll fry Alone! It is…It begins today, if you’re telling the truth. Don’t worry if our friend will be saved. So long as he is telling the truth. If anybody, if you understand ENGLISH, anybody, except two people; the president and his deputy; anybody will be writing statement if you make an allegation, beginning today!”

We know the man frying at that moment  is John Ngirachu; the journalist of the Daily Nation; who was at a Police Station detained by the CID, after writing a story about your Ministry, which you runs honorable Nkaissery. There was to other journalist involved in the stories and not detained yet James Mbaka of the Daily Star and Alphonce Skiundu of the Standard.

This after your Ministry had questioned by the Auditor Generals query on the usage of funds and the use of total Ksh. 3,8 billion in a single day. Honorable Nkaissery you was even questioned on this matter by the Public Accounts Committee in the Parliament.

Your life doesn’t seem easy right now Mr. Nkaissery! You are a public person right? You’re an elected official who are in charge of a government ministry and the funds that brings. Journalist are tiring people, anybody who knows the ways of Daniel Arap Moi; was teaching you this right? Or was it anybody elese?

You sure learned by this history, isn’t that right Honorable Nkaissery?

The Nation has been the subject of frequent government attacks over the past 18 months. Joseph Ngugi, a Nakuru-based correspondent, was one of the first journalists charged in October 1993 with breach of security regulations for attempting to report on political violence in Molo” (…)”Mutegi Njau, the news editor of the Daily Nation, was arrested in April 1994, along with the paper’s Eldoret correspondent, and charged with subversion. The paper had run two stories on official involvement in political violence in the Burnt Forest area of the Rift Valley” (…) “In early January 1995, two Nation reporters were summarily dismissed in circumstances which caused many observers to believe this was a result of official pressure on the company” (Article 19, 1995).

Anybody who knows English and has heard it, remember this one, right?

“Paul Amina was previously arrested in August 1987 (see UA 214/87, AI Index AFR 32/29/87, dated 11 August 1981) and detained under Kenya’s public security regulations, which provide for the indefinite detention without charge or trial of those held to be endangering public security. No reason was given for his arrest in 1987, but it is believed that he was detained because of his reporting of politically sensitive court cases” (…)”Paul Amina, freelance journalist and former prisoner of conscience, was arrested by security police at the International Press Centre in Nairobi on Friday 16 August 1991. He was taken to an unknown destination where he is believed to be held incommunicado. He has not yet been brought to court to be charged with any offence” (AFR 31/26/91, 1991).

Seems like Joseph Nkaissery has learned well, though he needed to teach John Ngirachu a lesson not to make allegations that hurts you. You’re supposed to be Teflon. Anybody should know that! You have only two persons above you and that is The President and his Deputy; therefore detaining a simple little journalist shouldn’t be an issue. You run the Interior Ministry. He only has some Secret Informants and get some leaked information at the Parliament. That bastard!  

The Auditor General shouldn’t even have questioned your for the extra high spending in one day. That is your business, not anybody else, especially not somebody who check society and if there is check and balance. The coverage damage you, therefore it is damaging all of society. Because you’re a pinnacle in society while the Journalist is just a pencil pusher who never couldn’t even have teach the kids of today ENGLISH in Eldoret. You must forgive us. We don’t know English as you honorable Nkaissery.

Honorable Nkaissery you can see from Daniel Arap Moi as your lecturer, he was that also, so you must be one of his noble student. I write this to you because detaining somebody for not giving you the sources of their story on your ministry and monies you’re in charge of. I am sure you wished Ngirachu the treatment of Mr. Njau or Amina of the 90s Kenya. Since you think that is such a proud part of the political heritage! Since you trying to copy it and wish every allegation have to write a statement proving where they got the intelligence. You must be such a noble man Honorable Nkaissery who wishes to have all of this into your ministry. Honarable Nkaissery you must be great fan of extra paperwork to shut down your enemies. And they can’t be trustworthy people if they keep their sources to themselves. They should have Informers in Parliament. That is not noble like you. Anybody would know that.

Honorable Nkaissery what is the truth? What is the honest truth about the monies and your ministry? Why would anybody like the men of the Public Account Committee ask you questions? And why didn’t they ask you directly for statements instead of getting it from informants. You who are such a noble man Nkaissery! Anybody can see that.

I don’t want to to leave you alone or fry you Honorable Nkaissery! But I want to ask how come there was spent so much shillings in your ministry in one day? And why did you detain and ask the two other journalists to be detained for the story? Anybody who has heard the story, wonder about that!

They can’t be saying stuff like they do. Anybody should know the truth. The honest truth from a honorable man like you Joseph Nkaissery! CID got a statement and detained a journalist for an article. That the journalist himself said he got the intel from the Hansard. The Hansard is public property or is there something hidden in the English language that makes them not legal for journalist to read these?

I just want to know the truth Honorable Joseph Nkaissery for why anybody like Ngirachu was detained. That is a statement I want to see and also the reason for why since you have to power over the CID with your station at the ministry honorable Nkaissery. Can you tell that to anybody? I am sure you’re the best source of it. This cannot be seen as political insensitive. It’s just rational sir. So please if you understand my ENGLISH. Please tell this to anybody, the truth in a statement, your allegations of Ngirachu and his colleagues.

John Ngirachu 121115

Sincerely yours

Writer of Minbane.

Reference:

Article 19 –‘Censorship in Kenya: Government critics face the death sentence’ (May 1995) link:   https://www.article19.org/data/files/pdfs/publications/kenya-censorship-in-kenya.pdf

Letter from 1991 – ‘Fear of Torture/Legal Concern’ (19.08.1991) – AFR 31/26/91

Endgame:

Kenya 121115

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