SA Police can now legally track your cellphone calls

SA Police can now legally track your cellphone calls

South African Justice Minister, Ronald Lamola, has granted approval for the lawful utilisation of surveillance tools and tracking devices by the South African Police Service (SAPS).

Phone Call track

The South African Police Service has received the green light to legally use cellphone spying tools and trackers for investigation purposes.

According to a Netwerk 24 report, the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Robert Lomala, gave SAPS up until 2028 to use cellphone trackers and grabbers. 

This means that there is a five-year exemption from the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-related Information Act (RICA).

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Effectively, this will enable police to use a range of tracking devices, which would otherwise be illegal, to access details about any cellular device in a given area. 

One of these tracking devices is an International Mobile Subscriber Identifier (IMSI), also known as a Grabber or Catcher. 

Grabbers "listen" to devices by masquerading as regular cellular towers, which then harvest data from every mobile device connected to them.

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According to other reports, the police may also use hardware keystroke recorders, night vision and thermal imaging equipment, wiretaps, eavesdropping microphones, miniature video and audio recorders, and location tracking devices.

The new intervention was implemented in consultation with all relevant ministers. 

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