New KRA Lab To Access Kenyans’ Secret Phone, Computer Data

May 12, 2022
Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) headquarters, Times Tower, Nairobi.

The Kenyan taxman is going all out to boost its revenue collections and nab more tax cheats and frauds if its new plan is anything to go by.

Last month, we told you the Kenya Revenue Authority(KRA) is planning to deploy drones to boost tax surveillance of businesses.

And this month, media reports indicate KRA is setting up an advanced forensic laboratory that will allow it to snoop on your phones and computers.

The plan is part of the new and modern tax surveillance technology that KRA has adopted through its newly formed intelligence management division.

The Nation reported Wednesday that the forensic lab will allow the taxman to mine data, including hidden accounts and records, from Kenyan taxpayers’ computers and mobile phones to detect tax and financial fraud.

According to the publication, KRA said the digital lab will target forensic acquisition, extraction, and discovery of electronic evidence.

“A lot of evidence gathered during the course of investigations is digital in nature such as e-mails, texts, video, audio, image files, and other transactional data on hard disks and other storage media.

“The investigations of such crimes require sophisticated data acquisition, mining, analytics, and storage tools in addition to technical expertise to reconstruct the transactions and provide insights into complex crimes,” KRA said in a disclosure on the new lab.

The move comes in the wake of a major shift to online transactions and electronic record-keeping by businesses.

KRA said it will use special software to access data from all types of computers, iPhones, iPads, and other smartphones.

“The tool should also be compatible and have ability to extract, analyse data from all types of phones and tablets, should include a full range of peripherals and accessories needed for mobile forensic investigations, including connectors … faraday bags, memory card readers, SIM and micro-SIM ID Cloning cards, camera of capturing images of the data or screenshots directly from the device…” KRA stipulated in a tender call for supplies to the forensic lab.

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