Postal Packets and Telecommunications Bill ‘crude’ – Franklin Cudjoe
Mr. Cudjoe stated that “no civilized nation should actually be allowed to even think about this. This is like the communist era. This is not even fine spying.”
Last week, Parliament published a notice soliciting for input for the draft legislation.
The bill is to enact legislation for the lawful interception of postal packets and telecommunication messages for the purpose of fighting crime and suppressing organised crime.
If Parliament passes the bill, it will empower Ghana’s security agencies to intercept messages related to or linked to money laundering, terrorism, narcotic trafficking, identity theft and generally for the protection of national security.
Contributing to a panel discussion on Accra-based Citi FM, Mr. Cudjoe stated that “no civilized nation should actually be allowed to even think about this. This is like the communist era. This is not even fine spying.”
He was of the view that such sensitive matters cannot be discussed within a week and expressed satisfaction that the committee of Parliament which is tasked to study the bill has asked for an extension.
The IMANI boss however, remarked that “the essence of security and the essence of doing some of these things must be predicated on the basis of the economy of the wherewithal of the people.”
“The seeds for disruption and the seeds for discontent blossom when there is economic inequality. If it reaches certain levels that people will find it difficult or when people find it very easy to accept dangerous theology, dangerous propaganda in order to go and cause mayhem so for me that is where my worry is.”
He added that if national security is determined to listen in on people’s conversations, it should rather be more interested in the economic security of the individual because “that is what ultimately would lead to seeds of discontent.”
In a related development, the editor-in-chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, Kwaku Baako in a panel discussion on Accra-based Joy FM said: “Essentially, we have allowed a situation where there is already a legal regime…what is means is that we are already at risk. Substantively, we are already at risk.”
He added that taking into consideration the way the country’s Parliamentary system works, “I can already see the majority push this through.”
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