The Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications has expressed concerns over the current state of the Communications ministry’s contract with Kelni-GVG.
According to the chamber, the nature of the contract makes it easy for the privacy of telephone users to be invaded.
“Our informed position is that the current architecture from the NCA and KelniGVG does not conform to these design standards. The architecture does not provide our customers the privacy of their communication that the constitution guarantees them.
“We are of the firm belief that continued collaboration between our technical teams and that of the NCA can resolve the difficulties that currently exist. Indeed we have as an industry, submitted alternative designs for consideration to the NCA and MoC in good faith, for consideration,” a statement signed by Kenneth Ashigbey, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications said.
The statement comes on the back of the warning by Communications minister Ursula Owusu-Ekuful that telecom companies that do not cooperate with Kelni-GVG in the execution of their mandate will be sanctioned by the state.
Kelni GVG has been awarded the contract by the Akufo-Addo administration for design, development and implementation of a common platform for traffic monitoring, revenue assurance, and mobile money monitoring and fraud management—a service already being rendered by Afriwave and Subah Info Solution.
Below are details of the statement by the Telecoms Chamber
MOBILE INDUSTRY POSITION ON THE COMMON PLATFORM MONITORING SYSTEM
As an industry, which has been monitored for close to a decade, we are not averse to monitoring, as we do not have anything to hide.
Monitoring activities by the government was established by law – the Communication Service Tax (CST) Amendment Act, 2013 (Act 864).This law was preceded by the Electronic Communication Amendment Act, 2009 (Act 786) which authorized the monitoring of international incoming calls. This legal framework not only established the basis for monitoring activities but also prescribed certain design and connection standards for the monitoring system. As a law-abiding industry we only seek that the monitoring conducted through the common platform, should be done according to the very law that empowers the NCA and GRA to monitor us.
Breach of Privacy
Our informed position is that the current architecture from the NCA and KelniGVG does not conform to these design standards. The architecture does not provide our customers the privacy of their communication that the constitution guarantees them.
We are of the firm belief that continued collaboration between our technical teams and that of the NCA can resolve the difficulties that currently exist. Indeed we have as an industry, submitted alternative designs for consideration to the NCA and MoC in good faith, for consideration. The present challenges are as follows:
a. The current architecture seeks to connect beyond the equivalent point in the network where the network providers billing systems are connected;
b. The monitoring mechanism has the capability to actively or passively record, monitor, or tap into the content of any incoming or outgoing electronic communications traffic such as voice. The proposed connection point will risk exposing content of voice traffic. The voice transaction damp for the revenue assurance tool should be enough without risking individual customer privacy. We are minded that the law does not talk about intent but capability, which the current architecture processes.
As an industry we are committed to collaborate with the NCA and align on an architecture that will achieve its purpose and also remain compliant [and is acceptable by all stakeholders].
The mobile industry is fully persuaded that there is opportunity to continue to collaborate with the NCA/KelnliGVG to ensure that the Common Platform meets the legal requirement of the law; preserve the security of our networks as well as ensure the privacy of our customers whilst assuring government visibility of any revenues due it.