Rwanda to start tapping phone calls
The Rwandan government has approved an amendment to a bill which will authorise the tapping of telephone calls for security purposes. While all private communication can be tapped, chairman of the parliamentary committee on Human Rights, Unity and Reconciliation and Fight Against Genocide, MP Francois Byabarumwanzi stressed that in applying the law, the commission will adhere to best practices from Commonwealth nations.
“Interception of communications is considered lawful where it is done in the interest of public security and in accordance with this law,” reads article 3 of the amended law.
Only authorised entities will have the power to listen in on private conversations, including the army, police and intelligence services, and only with an interception warrant from a prosecutor.
All service providers in the country are expected to comply with the new legislation when it gets passed and will have to make sure that systems are technically capable of supporting interceptions.
“The law provides for inspectors in charge of monitoring authorised persons to ensure that they intercept communication, in accordance with the law,” said Minister of Internal Security, Musa Fazil Harerimana.
He also added that it will be unlawful to listen in on unauthorised tappings.
“It will be criminal for one to intercept one’s private conversation; this legislation is meant to protect subscribers. The law has been amended to create exceptions and to ensure that those who intercept communications are monitored as well.”
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor