MACRA determined to keep spy machine

Malawi’s regulator intends to fight to implement its monitoring system, dubbed the ‘spy machine’.

This comes after a court finding that the Consolidated ICT Regulatory Management System (Cirms), locally dubbed the ‘spy machine’ could be in contravention of the people’s right to privacy and can therefore not be used.

Detractors of the proposed system have expressed fears that it could be used to listen in on calls and track what calls are made.

The  Malawi Communications regulatory Agency (MACRA) says it was not party to last week’s court case and cannot appeal the ruling. However, another case is due in court this week, in which MACRA will argue its case.

The regulator has stated that the system is intended to counter certain telecoms fraud and track telecoms revenue, and is not capable of listening in on conversations.

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