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Are phones being tapped in SVG?

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Are phones being tapped in St. Vincent and the Grenadines? And if so, by whom?{{more}}

In the wake of spying and wire tapping allegations in Trinidad and Tobago, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves set minds racing at a press conference held conference on Monday, November 15, when he said that he called Governor General Sir Frederick Ballantyne concerning the dissolution of parliament on a ‘safe telephone line’.

“The Governor General got a hand written note from me delivered yesterday (Sunday, November 14) after five o’clock….Though on a safe telephone line, I had spoken to him and I had given my advice; but for the record, I had written it down in my own hand.”

When asked what he meant by the phrase ‘safe telephone line’, the Prime Minister said that he used a land line to speak with the Sir Frederick as opposed to a cellular phone.

“I didn’t call on a cell phone. I am told that the cell phone can be easily intercepted.”

Over the years, the topic of electronic surveillance of telephone calls has come up here several times.

At the launch of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) in 2002, the Prime Minister spoke of introducing a law to place persons involved in criminal activity under electronic surveillance.

That suggestion had brought objection by Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace, who said he did not trust the government and as a result would not support any such bill if it came to Parliament.

Last week, Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad- Bissessar disclosed in Parliament that the Patrick Manning led People’s National Movement (PNM) government had introduced a Strategic Intelligence Unit (SIU) which had been monitoring the private conversations of Opposition politicians, journalists, judges and other persons in public life across Trinidad and Tobago, including the country’s President.

She said that the agency, which was shut down three weeks ago, had tapped the victims’ cell phones and land lines, and had intercepted emails and text messages.

The unit had at their disposal, when they themselves were intercepted, over five million dollars in cash, guns and

ammunition.(JJ)

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