Wednesday, 28 September 2011
ALLOWING STATE SPIES TO LEGALLY TAP PHONES: SHOULD KENYA GO THE PATRIOT ACT WAY?
A draft of the National Intelligence Service Act seeks to legally empower state spies in Kenya to listen in on private telephone conversations. Similar to the Patriot Act in America, the aim is to proactively seek to contain crime.
Human right activists are likely to raise a storm especially given that the Bill of Rights in Kenya's new Constitution safeguards rights to privacy from being infringed, even by state organs.
But there are those who feel that if the proposed surveillance will help keep citizens safe and curtail criminal activities, then that is a greater good, and the intrusion their privacy is a minor detail.
Will the needs of state security override individual's right to privacy in this instance? Opinion is somewhat divided as shown below, from a selection of views by Kenyans.