Kaliati blackmails telecom operators

Malawi Minister of Information is blackmailing telecommunication operators to accept the installation on the dubbed ‘spy machine’, the Consolidated ICT Regulatory Management System (CIRMS) or risk to have their licences revoked by government.

Operators including Airtel Malawi Limited, Telecom Networks of Malawi (TNM), Access Communications Limited (ACL) and Malawi Telecommunication Limited (MTL) against the installation of the phone-hacking equipment, saying it will be invading people’s privacy.

The spy machine has also sacred off many citizens who fear it will make Malawi a ‘Big Brother’ nation.

Kaliati: Licences will be withdrawn

But Kaliati has threatened that government through the Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (MACRA), with cancel licence to telecom operator who will continue to oppose to the machine’s installation.

Kaliati also told Zodiac Broadcasting Service that she was stunned that MTL, which has 20 % stakes from government, is also against the installation of CIRMS.

“If they continue to be against the installation of CIRMS, government will have no choice but to revoke licences of these operators,” she threatened.

The Minister said government is implementing its ruling party manifesto in improve quality telecommunications services.

Operators have said through the CIRMS, even in the absence of listening to call conversation, there will no longer be confidentiality with respect to customers’ call details; customers social, economical or political links and call history; journalists’ sources of information and contact details; and interactions between and among business men, politicians, civil society, other interest groups and their associates etc., as these can easily be established by analyzing the raw Call Detail Records (CDRs).

The CDRs which operators currently submit to MACRA for its monitoring functions under the Communications Act are summarized CDRs which do not contain such detailed subscriber information and not raw CDRs or CDR format as requested by MACRA for CDRs or CDR format as requested by MACRA for CIRMS’ implementation.

The telecommunication companies also argue that Malawians are already aware that their efforts to improve quality of service continue to be disrupted by vandalism, power failures, acute fuel shortages to power generators and shortage of foreign exchange to import equipment needed for expansion and optimization of their networks.

The operators then trash the installation CIRMS which they claim will never solve any quality of service problems being experienced currently for it is merely an adjunct monitoring tool and nothing new will be discovered other than what is currently already been declared and verified by MACRA.


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