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Sep 28, 2011

Are there loopholes in Telecommunications Act?

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Police announced that the mandatory registration of cell phones begins on October eleventh. The announcement caught many by surprise because it was not contemplated in the Telecommunication Act which became law last December. Government is saying that the cell registration is a tool to fight crime, but many fear that it will go beyond that and there are loopholes in the legislation. Although the Telecommunications Act provides for the Minister of Telecommunications to make regulations for registration of cell phones, the retention of data like text messages, and numbers called can only be done if regulations are issued by the Minister. To date no such regulations have been put in place, but the Government is insisting that mandatory registration should begin in a matter of days. Attorney Dean Molina, an expert at telecoms law and Carlo Mason, this morning answered questions on the telecoms act as well as the cell registration.

Dean Molina, Attorney

“This registration of phones is separate—there’s nothing in this act that makes that and I haven’t seen what is now being put in place. It’s probably going to be…”

Marleni Cuellar

“It’s being called a mandatory registration.”

Dean Molina

“So there’s probably going to be a statutory instrument that’s going to be passed to bring that into effect, perhaps under this telecommunications act but this act does not address the registration of prepaid phones.  If I were to criticize the Interception of Communication Act for one major flaw, it would be the fact that there is no provision of this act for the destruction of recordings after they have been used or if they are not used. So there’s no mechanism in place to suggest what happens if you get the impression that there’s multitudes of tapes from people. There’s nothing that mandates anyone to destroy that if it’s not used.”

Carlo Mason, Attorney

“Even if the judge decides that the order for entry, the entry warrant or the interception direction should be terminated, the fact remains that that data that has been recorded or gleaned is still there.”

Marleni Cuellar

“So there’s no stipulation that says get rid of it, nobody else can hear it.”

Carlo Mason

“There’s nothing that clearly states it must be destroyed.”

Dean Molina

“So you’d have issues of third party privacy rights to deal with.”

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9 Responses for “Are there loopholes in Telecommunications Act?”

  1. ali says:

    more pilitical manipulation from dean barrow. elections is fast approaching and he wants to hear what will be his fate in the elections,of course he will get kiked out.

  2. Charlie Price says:

    BIG BROTHER……. COMES TO BELIZE….welcome to the future!!!

  3. belize voice says:

    This is stupid just like the vehicle tint law that they passed. So since I bought my phone out of my money so it’s my personal phone right. Will the government buy all Belizeans phone so that they can listen to our sush. What happen to the privacy to one self? I thought that Belize was a free country

  4. CEO says:

    Now how will this work? Let’s see all the drug dealers and bad guys will rush in and register their phones, right? Wrong!

    What mechanism is in place for enforcement? I would guess none!

    The only people who will register their phones are law abiding people and the cops are after the bad guys.

    I did not think of this one but this and many more are the kinds of crap regulations and infringements on our freedom of speach that will come because of the nineth amendment!

    This wil serve no good purpose. They are playing on peoples fears and desires to reduce crime rate only to infringe on human rights!

  5. defend BZ says:

    Won`t work give me two phones and a phone number including the minister of police and i will give you back two phones with his phone number. If i can do it the crimenals out there can do it too. what GOB should be doing is increasing BTL and SMART revenue base by jamming Telcel and Teco signals along our borders and stop villagers along the borders from sellong these phone cards.
    By the way i can stand outside the police station in Punta Gorda and with a Teco sim card receive Teco signal.

  6. shuran says:

    like the titn law this wont curb crime , these flippin idiots, what they want to do is breach our privacy , ratid, lets us all turn off our phones and let see what BTL or smart or Gob will collect

  7. Unhappy says:

    @ Shuran… I totally agree with you. I won’t register. I rather turn off my phone see who they will make business from. They will only be spiting themselves…. blasted fools. Mein I’m so mad with all the BS they doing …. I could hardly speak.

  8. Unhappy says:

    I am not in politics but I say NO to NINTH AMENDMENT because I don’t believe that GOB is doing this for us and I say no to REGISTERING PHONE. In no way will we benefit …. look at the stupid law to remove tint …. Did we benefit ? We have nothing to show what they did for us ONLY what they are doing TO us…. If any member or anyone related in any form to GOB has something to say … Guess What???? IT DOESN’T MATTER ….. YOU DON’T MATTER so go screw yourselves because that’s all you no good mother$%^&^ are good for anyways. Living good and getting high off the free money and screwing each other with your nasty selves …. bunch of losers. Sadom and Gomaro fi done. Bun fiah pan all unu PAGANS and HEATHENS!!!!!!

  9. Diehard Belizean says:

    SHURAN and UNHAPPY ..that’s two.. count me in .. that’s three. I believe we can start a peaceful revolution… let’s contact as many believers in this revolution of taking one day to begin with and turn off our phones for a whole day and then we can increase more days.

    Please pick a day and let me know through this medium and we’ll all shut down our phones.

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