Kenya’s communications regulator granted approval to install mobile phone spying devices

The system was proposed more than six years ago, but it faced legal hurdles and pushback from telcos and citizens alike.

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Kenya’s Supreme Court has allowed the Communications Authority of Kenya to roll out the Device Management System (DMS) and install a device on mobile phone networks to detect counterfeit phones. The move comes amid concerns that the watchdog could gain access to other customer data.

The regulator denies that the DMS has the ability to access subscribers’ call records, location and mobile money transaction details. It insists that the technology can only detect and record the unique identification number of mobile phones and the subscriber numbers assigned to them. However, there are fears that the surveillance equipment could give the regulator access to other customer data held by telecom companies.