Even after its passage in Parliament, Kirk Waithe of Fixin’ T&T is expressing concerns about the expanded Strategic Services Agency (SSA).
Waithe has picked up on issues raised by opposition and independent voices during the parliamentary debate.
He posed several questions in a letter to Attorney General Faris Al Rawi.
He wants to know whether the SSA director would be appointed by the political directorate and, if so, “how can we trust that he/she would not be beholden to the government or any minister?”
He wondered whether the director could be appointed by a Joint Select Committee or a body similar to the Judicial and Legal Service Commission or the Police Service Commission.
Waithe asked whether the office holders who could authorise the interception of communication could do so without a court order.
If so, “are there clearly defined parameters within which such directives could be issued?”
In the absence of a court order, does the interception of communication “have to be reported and subsequently reviewed by an independent body?”
Waithe further questioned: “Is there an audit trail once communication is intercepted? If yes, is it secured, and by whom?”
He queried how can the public trust that there will be “no abuse or misuse of information gathered through the interception of communication.”
And he enquired: “Are proper and efficient processes in place to effectively dispose of information that would not be used?”
Waithe told Al Rawi that “with all that is being unearthed” he has “apprehension about trusting any political directorate.”