The National Communications Authority has awarded a contract to Afriwave Telecom Ghana Limited to provide an Interconnect Clearing House (ICH) for both in-bound and out-bound communications in the country.
The ICH will serve as the single gateway through which voice and data communications (including Skype and other social media calls) across local networks and International Carriers can be terminated.
In spite of legitimate concerns raised by civil society organisations and industry players, the government has gone ahead to sign a contract with Afriwave to provide a mandatory monopolistic ICH for communications in the country.
The possible implications of this unilateral decision by government for the end-user (individuals, groups and organisations) include the following:
1. gross privacy violations through monitoring of private calls, massive surveillance of text messages, emails, blogs, websites, social media communications, etc.
2. blocking and filtering of emails, blogs, websites, social media platforms and other data centres
3. manipulations for political persecution and gains
4. a nationwide breakdown in communication – i.e. should the ICH encounter any technical problem, digital attack, or in the event of a disaster.
5. increase in the cost of telecommunications services
6. waste of tax payers money to set up an entity that will offer no new solution (i.e, the Telcos in the country are required by law to invest in interconnection facilities to enable interconnections among telecom operators. This has been done and that is why over the years Ghanaians have been able to communicate across networks).
Join the campaign to resist the imposition of this centralised and monopolistic communications gateway on communications across the country by using all communications channels to demand a thorough review and discussion of all issues raised by civil society, industry players and subscribers before the implementation of the ICH in Ghana.
Issued by the MFWA in Accra on February 6, 2015.
The MFWA is a regional independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization based in Accra. It was founded in 1997 to defend and promote the rights and freedom of the media and of expression.
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