Communication Minister Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has assured the telecommunication companies and the Ghana Telecommunication Chamber that all their fears concerning privacy issues as far as plugging into the KelniGVG common monitoring platform is concerned, have been addressed.
In a statement, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said: “Even though they were not required to, changes have been made to the original technical specifications to provide a further layer of protection and security to address the privacy concerns of the MNOs [Mobile Network Operators]”.
“A filtering server and mirroring installation have been included to ensure that only the signalling information needed for the purposes of traffic monitoring will be received by the NCA and GRA. No other information – either voice, SMS, video, or data will be received by KelniGVG servers”.
She also said: “Physical installation of servers has been completed at various data centres of all the MNOs [Mobile Network Operators] and preparations towards testing and transmission are at various stages of completion”.
The Ablekuma West MP added: “I believe that with the new solution that NCA has come with, all parties are happy. I can say that the physical installation has been completed at various data centres and that all the mobile network operators are working and they are preparing towards testing and transmission of various stages.”
Think tank Imani Africa has raised several red flags about the $178 million deal real-time revenue monitoring deal between Ghana and KelniGVG. Its founding president Franklin Cudjoe believes the deal is a rip-off and needless.
Also, two private citizens have dragged the Minister of Communication, the National Communication Authority, the Ghana Revenue Authority, the Attorney General and the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications including the telecommunications networks to court in an attempt to stop them from going ahead with the monitoring.
The two are praying the court for “an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the respondents, whether, by themselves, their servants, workmen, hirelings, agents, privies or any persons claiming under or through them, whosoever described from implementing and operationalizing the Common Platform until the final determination of this suit.”
They argue that intended implementation of the Common Platform constitutes “a real threat to the enjoyment of their fundamental human rights to privacy and for which reason on 8th June 2018, applicants commence an action against the respondents for the reliefs endorsed therein.”
In their view, “Instead of connecting to only the billing node as stipulated in Act 864, the connections will be made to all the physical network nodes”, insisting the connection is “in breach of Act 864 and ultimately the applicant’s fundamental human right to privacy of their correspondence and communication as protected by article 18(2) of the constitution.”