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Guyana plans telecoms surveillance

20 Oct 2008

Guyana’s parliament has passed two controversial bills that would authorise wiretapping and force cell-phone providers to register clients, as part of a push to fight crime. The approval comes as members of Guyana’s two main opposition parties accuse legislators of violating citizens’ privacy amid concerns that the government will try to abuse the privilege. The other bill requires cellcos Digicel and Guyana Telephone & Telegraph (GT&T) to register everyone who buys a phone or SIM card. Legislators say this would allow police to examine records if they suspect a phone was used for criminal purposes. President Bharrat Jagdeo is expected to sign the bills into law next week.

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