Security officials discuss new mobile policy with IT minister

Senior security figures will meet with the Minister of Communication and Information Technology to discuss new policy regulating the sales of cell phone lines, according to senior government sources.

Sources said the meeting with minister Tarek Kamel, slated for later this week, will coincide with other meetings between security officials and mobile operator representatives. The sources said there is agreement on imposing penalties on violators of the new rules, including companies that deal with distributors who sell mobile phone lines to customers without registering the requisite data.

According to the new regulations adopted in April by the National Telecommunication Regulation Authority (NTRA), mobile companies and distributors will be obliged to provide identification data on new buyers (as shown on ID cards) to mobile operators’ customer services. New customers will not be able to activate their lines unless they call their service providers, which in turn will make sure the information submitted matches information registered at the Ministry of Interior.

High-ranking security officials met with Kamel last January in order to agree on new mechanisms to curb the chaos created by the sales of mobile phone lines and the spread of incompatible mobile sets which form a security burden, due to the difficulty in tracking them.

Sources said the interior ministry will not be lenient in enforcing the new measures. A transitional phase is currently in force.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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