Some data will still be subject to court order
One of the Solomon Islands’ largest mobile service provider, Our Telekom has signed up to share information with Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF).
Under the memorandum of understanding (mou) the agreement will be in place for an initial period of two years and allows Our Telekom to support the RSIPF’s investigations into ‘communication related matters’.
RSIPF will also be able to access mobile data records, call records and location of mobile devices connected to Our Telekom’s network, said Mostyn Mangau Acting Commissioner at RSIPF.
“This MoU establishes a broad framework to assist the RSIPF facilitate, share and exchange information including call searches pertaining to criminal investigations and reported complaints regarding stolen mobiles through home invasions, break and enter into vehicles, theft and pick-pocketing,” he said.
The deal is expected to boost the Police’s criminal investigation capabilities due to Our Telekom’s large mobile service subscriber base and network coverage throughout the country.
Our Telekom boasts about “95 per cent network coverage throughout the Solomon Islands” and claims about “half a million mobile service subscribers in the country”, states independent expert statutory authority, Telecommunications Commission Solomon Islands (TCSI).
According to TCSI the agreement “will also have privacy safeguards in place”, stipulating that all information exchanged between the two parties be done in accordance with strict legal guidelines.
“RSIPF and Solomon Telekom acknowledge the importance of exchange of information in their line of duties including personal and confidential information which is subject to legislative requirements,” said Commissioner Mangau.
Protocols will also be established to handle any information shared under the agreement including the appointment of authorised officers within the two organisations to handle requests.
The MoU also restricts both parties from sharing any information obtained under the agreement to any third party without court approval.
“Under the MoU, the RSIPF and Solomon Telekom agree not to disclose any confidential information relating to this MoU to any third Party, without prior written approval from the other Party, unless the disclosure is directly related to a subpoena, warrant or other legislative obligation,” Commissioner Mangau said.
In cases where time may be of the essence, the agreement will also cater for the fast-tracking of requests to allow police to respond quickly and effectively to urgent matters.
“In cases that may involve either life and death situations, Solomon Telekom shall undertake all its best effort to provide the information as soon as possible, if the request is sent to them by police in any means of investigation,” said Commissioner Mangau.