Kuwait bans eavesdropping devices, prior permission now mandatory

Kuwait bans eavesdropping devices, prior permission now mandatory

Kuwait enforces strict rules on eavesdropping device use.

KUWAIT NEWS, Dec 2: The Minister of State for Municipal Affairs and Minister of State for Communications Affairs, Fahd Al-Shoula, has issued a decision to amend the executive regulations pertaining to the misuse of communication and eavesdropping devices (Bugging devices). The decision includes a clear prohibition on the use, circulation, possession, sale, or display of any audio or visual eavesdropping devices. It emphasizes that no entity is allowed to utilize these devices without obtaining prior permission from the Public Prosecution.

The decision, consisting of 12 articles, establishes that no entity can subject any phone to surveillance or provide data and information about calls made or received on any telephone device without obtaining permission from the Public Prosecution. This permission is granted to monitor specific phones during a specific period related to ongoing investigations.

In response to the need for updated regulations due to technological advancements, the decision stems from a letter from the Communications and Information Technology Commission. The Minister’s decision is aimed at preserving individual privacy, protecting data, and aligning with modern developments in information and communication systems.

The decision also mandates that permission for surveillance must be issued by an official letter from the Public Prosecutor or a public attorney, ensuring complete confidentiality. The results of the monitoring are sent directly to the requesting party, with the Public Prosecution being notified of a copy, maintaining strict confidentiality to safeguard the privacy of the individuals under surveillance.

Moreover, the decision prohibits the use, trade, possession, sale, or display of any audio or visual eavesdropping devices, with the regulatory authority responsible for specifying their type, nature, and technical specifications. Requests for possession and use of eavesdropping devices by official authorities are reviewed by the regulatory authority, and only granted after obtaining the necessary ministerial approval.

The decision highlights that it is permissible to transfer calls to and from Kuwait via satellite, the Internet, or any other technical means of connection, subject to the approval of the Communications and Information Technology Regulatory Authority. The Authority is responsible for licensing international carriers to transport international traffic to and from Kuwait, ensuring compliance with established controls and regulations.

To enforce these regulations, inspection teams from the Authority will be designated with the necessary judicial control, collaborating with competent authorities, the Ministry of Interior, and the Public Prosecution to inspect stores, businesses, and individuals for violations of Law No. 9 of 2001 and the specified regulations.

The post Kuwait bans eavesdropping devices, prior permission now mandatory first appeared on ARAB TIMES – KUWAIT NEWS.

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