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R2K wants to know how often phone firms hand over customer info

The Right2Know campaign wants to know how many times a loophole that allows for surveillance operations on customers is used by cellphone companies.

Picture: Freeimages.com

JOHANNESBURG - The Right2Know (R2K) campaign has filed legal requests with cellphone operators to find out how often they hand over sensitive customer information.

Recently the Daily Maverick reported on a legal loophole that allows magistrates to authorise thousands of surveillance operations every year, forcing companies such as MTN, Vodacom, Telkom and Cell C to hand over customer information such as their call records.

Now R2K is using the Promotion of Access to Information Act to ask all major telecoms companies to disclose how often this loophole is used.

The organisation’s Murray Hunter said: "What we’re looking for at this point is statistics. We’re not asking for sensitive information. Give us the statistics. How many times does it happen a year? We are very concerned that this loophole is open to abuse. We are very concerned that these interceptions are happening without customers being notified."

(Edited by Zinhle Nkosi)

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