The Center for Democratic Development (CDD), has expressed concern about the time-frame given by Parliament for the public contribute to the Interception of Postal Packets and Telecommunication Messages Bill.
On Monday, Parliament published a notice soliciting for input for the draft legislation. The deadline for the submission from the public is today [Friday], February 19.
The Interception of Postal Packets and Telecommunication Messages Bill, if passed into law, will allow national security to tap into, listen, record and monitor telecommunication messages.
In an interview with Citi News, the Head of Research and Programs at CDD, Dr. Franklin Oduro, said the time allotted for the public to provide their opinion on the bill is too short.
“We are saying that the time given is not good enough, considering the nature of this law. If the state of Ghana is going to enact a law that will allow the state and its agencies the authority to intercept and scrutinize communication and mails, it also suggests that the privacy of citizens will be undermined. If the privacy of the citizens, which our constitution guarantees, is going to be undermined, then any such law should have adequate time for public discussions so that people will know that at some point the state of Ghana would have the right to intercept their mail,” he said.
Dr. Oduro also said, “We need to know what the content of that law will be. At what point will the state intercept the messages and how do we ensure that the messages that are being intercepted, are not going to be used for anything other than what the law requires.”
“We think that the five-day notice for such an important law is too short. That is why we are calling on Parliament to provide adequate time for discussing the bill. More importantly, they should publicize the bill so that we can see what is in it.”
By: Jeffrey Owuraku Sarpong/citifmonline.com/Ghana