Ghana

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME LAWFUL INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE

THE ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS ACT 2008 (ACT 775) (THE “ECA”)

Under Section 100 of the ECA, the President may, by executive instrument, make written requests and issue orders to operators or providers of electronic communications networks or services requiring them to intercept communications and provide any user information or otherwise in aid of law enforcement or national security.

ANTI-TERRORISM ACT 2008

According to the Anti-Terrorism Act, 2008 (Act 762) a senior police of cer (not below the rank of an Assistant Commissioner of Police) with the written consent of the Attorney- General and Minister of Justice (AG) may apply to a court for an order to require Vodafone to intercept customer communications for the purpose of obtaining evidence of commission of an offence under the Anti-Terrorism Act

DISCLOSURE OF COMMUNICATIONS DATA

THE ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS ACT 2008 (ACT 775) (THE ECA)

The ECA gives the power to the National Communication Authority (NCA) and certain public authorities to obtain metadata relating to customer communications such as traf c data, service use information and subscriber information.

Under Section 4(2)(a) of the ECA, telecommunications providers have an obligation to provide information required by the NCA for regulatory and statistical purposes. Section 8(2) authorises the NCA to request the disclosure of lists of subscribers, including directory access databases. Section 68 of the ECA empowers the NCA to request information from service providers concerning the communications network, the use of spectrum granted and the use of the communications network or service.

REGULATION 103 OF THE ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS REGULATIONS, 2011 (L.I. 1991)

Regulation 103 of the Electronic Communications Regulations, 2011 (LI 1991) also requires telecommunications providers to submit to the veri cation of electronic communications traf c by the NCA.

THE ELECTRONIC TRANSACTIONS ACT, 2008 (ACT 772) (THE “ETA”)

Under Section 101 of the ETA, the government or a law enforcement agency may apply to a court for an order for the disclosure of customers’ communications that are in transit or held in electronic storage in an electronic communications system by a communications service provider.

NATIONAL SECURITY AND EMERGENCY POWERS

The Electronic Communications Act 2008 (Act 775) (the “ECA”)

Under the ECA, during a state of emergency, communications service providers are required to give priority to requests and orders for the transmission of voice or data that the President considers necessary in the interests of national security and defence.

Section 99 of the ECA states that where a state of emergency is declared under the Constitution or any other law, Vodafone will be required to give priority to requests and orders for the transmission of voice or data that the President considers necessary in the interests of national security and defence.

Section 99(6) gives power to the President to assume direct control of electronic communications services and issue operation regulations in the event of a declaration of war.

OVERSIGHT OF THE USE OF POWERS

Regarding applications made pursuant to the Anti-Terrorism Act 2008, a senior police officer will first require the written consent of the Attorney-General before making an application to court and seeking judicial approval.

Applications made under section 101 of the Electronic Transactions Act, 2008 (Act 772) by the government or a law enforcement agency must first go to the court to seek judicial approval. Then, an order can be granted relating to the disclosure of customers’ communications that are in transit or held in electronic storage in an electronic communications system by a communications service provider. The court will not make the order unless it is satisfied that the disclosure is relevant and necessary for investigative purposes or is in the interests of national security.

There is no judicial oversight or approval of the use of powers under the Electronic Communications Act 2008 (Act 775) (the ECA).

CENSORSHIP RELATED POWERS

SHUT-DOWN OF NETWORK AND SERVICES

ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS ACT 2008, ACT 775

Under Section 99(6) of the Electronic Communications Act 2008 (Act 775), the President may assume direct control of communications services in times of war. The powers are wide and likely to include the power to order a shut-down of networks and/or services.

BLOCKING OF URLS & IP ADDRESSES

See Section 1 ‘Shut-down of network and services’ above; given the wide nature of the President’s powers, it is likely that he or she would be able to order the blocking of URLs and IP addresses.

POWER TO TAKE CONTROL OF VODAFONE’S NETWORK

See Section 1 ‘Shut-down of network and services’ above.

OVERSIGHT OF THE USE OF POWERS

There is no judicial oversight of the President’s powers under Section 99(6) of the Electronic Communications Act 2008 (Act 775).

This information was originally published in the Legal Annexe to the Vodafone Group Law Enforcement Disclosure Report in June of 2014, which was updated in May of 2017.

2018-03-19T21:21:01+00:00 March 15, 2018|Categories: legal frameworks|
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