*TELECOMMUNICATIONS SECURITY ACCESS*
On July 16, a Committee of Member of Parliament from both parties, stated that senior officials in the security forces will now have full access to real-time communications information in an effort to investigate selected criminal acts in pursuit of solving the cases.
Horace Chang tabled this motion in the House by saying they will bypass some measures in the Interceptions of Communication Act to allow top officers of the security forces to access data via telecommunications network.
This can be but not limited to a phone call. The minister did not mention video calls and text messages but since the data access are not limited to phone calls there are concerns that these communications can also be intercepted.
Minister Chang highlighted crimes such as kidnapping as extenuating circumstances for the use of this new provision to improve the responses of security forces to be effective.
The high ranking staff who can access this information will include JDF’s Chief of Defence, Head of the Military Intelligence Unit, the Commissioner of Police (JCF), the Assistant Commissioner of the Narcotics Unit, Assistant Commissioner of the National Intelligence Bureau and the Director-General of the Major Organised and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA).
The Opposition Spokesperson of National Security, Fitz Jackson raised concern about intrusion of International interference. He pointed out the cyber-security agreements with Israel by stating how harmful this motion can be because of the element of intrusion from the state on citizens’ business transactions and personal conversation and how dangerous it can be if it falls in the wrong hands.
Furthermore, Jackson wanted more clarification and assurance that the government has not solicited any other entity locally and internationally to use this power to harm citizens.
Mr Chang then stated that it is safe and there are no hidden agendas.