Cell phone calls not safe from being spied on
KABUL (PAN): The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) on Sunday admitted cell phone calls made in Afghanistan were not safe from being spied on, saying some foreign intelligence agencies might still monitored them.
MCIT Minister Amirzai Sangin told the Meshrano Jirga or upper house that reports appeared in recent past showed the American National Security Agency (NSA) tracked about 22 billion phone calls made in Afghanistan in just one month.
The reports earlier this year said NSA recorded 125 billion phone calls worldwide in January 2013.
“A complicated system is required to protect phone calls from being monitored by spy agencies,” Sangin told lawmakers. He said it was possible phone data of Afghans continued to be collected by some intelligence networks.
“Our Constitution bans the violation of privacy of one’s phone call and foreign countries should respect our laws,” he said, suggesting the problem should be taken to the UN for a solution.
The minister said under a decree issued by the Supreme Court, the National Directorate of Security and the Counternarcotics Department could monitor phone calls to prevent security and drug trafficking incidents only.
“These two organs are allowed in all countries around the world to monitor phone calls,” said Sangin, who also briefed the house on achievements and developments made in the IT and telecommunication sector over the past years.
“There are many countries in the world, who cannot compete with Afghanistan in the technology sector,” he claimed.
Senate chairman Fazal Hadi Muslimyar said the MCIT’s performance had been appreciable in the telecommunication field, but said security problems in some areas continued to deprive people from benefiting the ministry’s services.
Muslimyar asked MCIT officials to provide telecommunication services to all Afghans.
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