Wale questions the Telekom-RSIPF MOU

The Leader of Opposition, Hon. Matthew Wale questions the legality of the MOU signed by Solomon Telekom and the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force, to foster exchange of communication related information.

According to the Island Sun issue of 9th May, 2020, the MOU will enable Solomon Telekom to support the work of RSIPF in its investigations into communications related matters.  The article also explain the strict processes that will be followed when access by RSIPF is required.

This appears to be bordering on breaching the constitutional protection afforded to people over their private communications and the existing legal safeguards put in place to allow for strict filtering before disclosure of any confidential information to any third party.

While fundamental rights can be limited by law, I question whether the Telecommunication Act 2009 allows for an MOU to facilitate disclosure of confidential information by a Service provider like Solomon Telekom?

It seems, the MOU is an attempt to water down the role of the Telecommunication Commission and the courts as the filtering authorities for any request of confidential information and allows for the Service provider to do the initial filtering.

This is a serious issue of public interest and so I question whether a proper assessment of the applicable laws was carried and where in the MOU does the Telecommunication Commission fit in, and who initiated this idea?

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