[Skunkworks] [kictanet] "Talk to Safaricom" Responses to Day 5 Questions (Technology & Elections)

Walubengo J jwalu at yahoo.com
Fri Feb 24 14:24:20 EAT 2017

Thnx Steve for you diligent responses.
Its clear Day 5 questions on Technology and Elections were not entirely within the Safcom domain. It would be nice  to hear supplementary comments from CA and IEBC on the same (both of whom are able represented on this list).

      From: Stephen Chege via kictanet <kictanet at lists.kictanet.or.ke>
 To: jwalu at yahoo.com 
Cc: Stephen Chege <SChege at Safaricom.co.ke>
 Sent: Friday, February 24, 2017 1:35 PM
 Subject: Re: [kictanet] "Talk to Safaricom" Responses to Day 5 Questions
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No questions were received for Day 6. It has been great responding to your questions. I look forward to more. regards Steve  Talk-2-Safaricom, Day 5 of 6 (Friday): Technology & ElectionsAs we go into the general elections, Safaricom is likely to be one of the Technology providers for IEBC. What are the concerns of users/citizens on this matter? Guideline issues:a) What assurances are there that the results transmitted are safe and secure?b) What are the chances of failure in the transmission system?c) Should the result transmission system be mobile (GSM)-based or should we go Satellite or both?d) Will Safcom play along in the even Government demands an Internet shut-down before, during or after elections? Questions+Comments from Discussions: Ali HusseinWalu  Thanks for keeping the conversation going.  My questions/comments are:- 1.With Safaricom's wide network could we get a mapping of where the gaps for connectivity are in relation to Polling Stations? It would be great to see which Polling Stations will have limited or no connectivity during the elections so that we can plan to mitigate that eventually now. I believe the Communications Authority would be best placed to respond to this given that they have a holistic picture of coverage from all operators across the country. 2. Would it be asking too much for Safaricom to liaise with USF/CA on the above to better identify the gaps? Safaricom’s network rollout strategy is primarily driven by the need to cover Kenya’s human population and geographic areas that are relevant in achieving that goal. We continuously provide this information to the Communications Authority and have worked with them on the issue of the USF where we have given our feedback as to the best approach to fill in the access gaps. 3. A Internet Shutdown request is a real possibility after media reports quoting DG Wangusi of CA.  http://www.iafrikan.com/2017/01/14/the-kenyan-government-will-only-shut-down-the-internet-during-elections-if-things-get-out-of-hand/  Will Safaricom as a matter of public interest commit to tell the public in case this order is something that must be enforced due to 'National Security' matters?  Ali, this is a difficult question for many reasons, not least because an answer either way may position Safaricom as either not being responsive to Government directives or being too willing to comply. I will respond by saying that Safaricom will not do anything that is outside the law with regard to such a request. In addition it has been reported that Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru has stated that there is no such intention (http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/business/2017/01/government-will-not-shut-internet-elections-mucheru-assures/) and we can all collectively hold the Government to this. Luke OkeloOnce again Thank you kindly Walubengo for moderating this final but not least opportunity to engage with Safaricom    1) I wish to know if using technology Safaricom will make any provision to allow the general public to verify their votes themselves?  2)Is there a web or mobile platform they can provide that allows each individual voters to act as an independent election monitor and check the results based on your polling station where you just voted?  3) Lastly with regards to level of assurance that transmitted results are safe and secure, what encryption standards are Safaricom using to transmit the results?  4) Will the encrypted results be shared with any other transmission machines or will they be tallied in a database at the polling site before final relay to Nairobi?  I think as a private and non-biased telecom provider in the upcoming elections, its most probable for Safaricom to build capacity to monitor the digital footpath of the votes both from a security point of view as well as transmission point of view,  This will allow for forensic audit and verification later on in case a dispute arises   Luke, I would say that these questions are premature as we have not been contracted by any entity at this point in time to participate in any capacity in the upcoming elections.  Walu JI would add another question: Assuming Safcom will be main transmission provider for the presidential results, what plans do they have in place in case Al-Shabaabs hit their masts on d-day?  Ama we just go manual as per the provisions of the revised law? Walu, we cannot make that assumption andipso facto I respectfully decline to speculate on this issue. Rosemary KoechDear Listers,  My query is in regards to data protection and  privacy in regards to the use of Safaricom users telephone numbers.  There have been several instances of text messages and calls from political aspirants.  How does Safaricom protect our data especially the data we give at registration and during m-pesa transactions?  How does Safaricom protect the  treasure trove of data it has in regards to Kenyans?  Kind regards, Rosemary, I responded to an almost identical question in some detail earlier in the session, please let me know if you have further queries. I would however hasten to add that there are many places where we expose our mobile numbers and which are not a secure as they should be kept. All of us give our names. ID numbers and mobile numbers to security guards when we access many buildings, shops, malls, etc. We have no idea how those books with all our details are stored and secured, if at all. I believe that any person collecting what may be considered confidential information should be under an obligation to deal with it in a particular way.  Grace Bomu at Walu,  as far as I can tell there is no direct law under which the Internet can be switched off. But there could be other views on the matter. My question to Safaricom is what they would do in the event that they were directed to shut down the Internet in part or in whole. Would they honour such a request? And Since you raised the issue of the law, it would also be interesting to know whether there is anything in Safaricom's licence agreement that requires Safaricom to assist the state for national security or public order reasons.  I am asking this in comparison with MTN Uganda which told its customers that it had complied with the shutdown directive from the Regulator in compliance to such a condition in the license agreement.  Regards, Grace, our operating Licence does not have specific provisions to shut down any services. In the past, Section 88 in KICA allowed the Minister of Internal Security to among other things, take temporary possession of telecommunication systems. This section was repealed and no similar provision has been put in place since. Edwin KiamaWalu,  I would indeed be very interested in what Safaricom would do if requested by GoK to; 1. Listen in to my calls & texts, install a snooping app in my phone, use the network layer to turn on my mike and camera even when my phone is off. 2. Jam the signal in my neighborhood for whatever reason. 3. Shut down the internet in a particular area or the whole country.  Regards,  Edwin Kiama Edwin, Safaricom is a public mobile network and cannot undertake any of the functions you have cited. It should also be known that a number of institutions operate network jamming devices which are outside the control of mobile operators and if these are deployed, it should not be assumed that any operator has shutdown services. Boniface WatibaI see great questions raised from the listers' threads. Just to delve in... 1. Will Safaricom give in to "orders from above" requiring the Internet to be shut down on August 8th?2. In the event that Safaricom gives in, how do you plan to "compensate" for the losses incurred?  Boniface, please see my response to Ali above which I believe addresses your questions. Note:All emails sent from Safaricom Limited are subject to Safaricom’s Email Terms & Conditions. Please click here to read the policy.http://www.safaricom.co.ke/images/Downloads/Terms_and_Conditions/safaricom_email_terms_and_conditions.pdf
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