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JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
5 June 2007
REGULATION OF INTERCEPTION OF COMMUNICATIONS AND PROVISION OF COMMUNICATION-RELATED INFORMATION AMENDMENT BILL [B9-2006]
Chairperson: Ms F Chohan-Kota (ANC)
Documents handed out
Working draft of the Bill as of 5 June 2007
Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-related Information Amendment Bill [B9-2006]
Discussion of the definition of “Identification Document”
The Department of Justice drafters read out the changes made to the Bill as a result of ongoing discussions with stakeholders since the May 2006 public hearings. The definition of "address" would be revisited, and further research would be conducted on Section 30 of the Refugees Act, an international equivalent of the South African identity number, and also the implications of the Bill for users of prepaid SIM-cards.
The Department of Justice drafters, Mr Sarel Robertse and Ms Ina Botha (both State Law Advisors: Legislative Development) read out the changes made to the Bill as a result of ongoing discussions with stakeholders since the May 2006 public hearings.
The Chairperson had an issue with the use of the inclusion of the word “passport” in defining the term “identity number”. She suggested that another clause be inserted that mirrored paragraphs (b) and (c) of the definition of ‘passport’ in the Immigration Act of 2002.
The Chairperson noted that she had certain concerns about Section 30 of the Refugees Act, and asked Mr Robertse to make a submission in that regard.
The Chairperson said that "identity document" should be broadened to include the use of family members’ identity documents. Driver’s licences were problematic and would not work.
Ms S Camerer (DA) said that driver’s licences contain an identity number, and also bear the thumbprint of the holder. They were a good form of identification and the thumbprint further played a significant role in crime issues.
The Chairperson said that the Committee would not be going that route in terms of the transitional arrangements provided for in the Identification Act, 1997
Mr Robertse referred to the use of family members’ addresses and said that this was particularly relevant to the inhabitants of rural areas. It was also possible that people living and working in cities would cite their family home address in rural areas, and this could become problematic.
The Chairperson said that in terms of address, it would be better to cite as an address anywhere one receives one’s post, instead of anywhere one is “well known”.
Mr G Solomons (ANC) asked for confirmation that “including” meant a church, a school or a retail store in addition to other places, and not restriction to either a church, a school or a retail store.
The Chairperson confirmed this, and pointed out further that when it came to providing a business address as an address, it should be borne in mind that some businesses had branches in different cities, or even different parts of the world.
The Chairperson said that with regard to family members, an insertion into the definition of "family member" now included a person not related to another person, but who has a relationship of responsibility to that person. There is uncertainty about whether religious law had been taken into account, and the implications for marriages that were not recognised by law, for example, Islamic marriages. Permanent life partners are now recognised.
The Chairperson said that she preferred a narrow definition of "address", and that the issue of the definition of "address" should be revisited.
Clause 2 Substitution of section 40 of Act 70 of 2002
Mr Robertse said that the various options were in essence exactly the same.
Mr Robertse said that the International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) number was used mainly for access authentication on the network and that unlike the Mobile Subscriber Integrated Service Digital Network (MSISDN) number, it could not be changed. Each IMSI number is unique to each SIM-card.
Mr L Landers (ANC) asked how MSISDN numbers are changed. Could it be done electronically and could the subscriber simply call in and have it changed?
Mr Robertse said that one could call in, and the procedure could be effected on an electronic system.
Mr Solomons said that the IMSI number made it possible to identify someone anywhere in the world.
Mr Robertse agreed, saying that when a person is roaming, it would be possible to see which network that person is using and which country the person is in, and it would be possible to trace that person back to South Africa.
Ms Botha said that it was necessary to look at the definition of an "identity number".
Mr Robertse said that paragraph (d) in Option 5 made provision for this.
The Chairperson confirmed that this paragraph covers the definition of an identity number.
Ms Camerer said that the IMSI number applies globally. In respect of foreigners roaming on their own networks, one would be able to get their identity numbers from their service providers, but would not be able to get their passport numbers. As they would be traveling with their passports, this would be the only number provided by them while in South Africa.
The Chairperson said that it was clear that everyone who was roaming, would have had their details registered.
The Chairperson said that research must be done on whether there is an international equivalent of an identity number. There are concepts like social security numbers, but it would have to be determined how this compares to the concept of an identity number as we understand it in South Africa.
The Chairperson said that research should be conducted on the implications for prepaid SIM-cards.
Ms Botha said that when people passed on or sold their handsets to others, both individuals would be obliged to go to the service provider and provide the details of the new owner. Only once the details of the new owner was registered, could the handset be passed on to the new owner. If handsets were being exchanged or sold among family members, the new owners would not have to re-register.
Ms Camerer asked whether Financial Intelligence Centre Act (FICA) compliance was an issue.
Ms Botha said she would check and report back to the Committee.
The meeting was adjourned.
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