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Kamla: Be guarded in e-mails, texts

Citizens should be guarded and mindful of what they are sharing via e-mail and WhatsApp messaging, warns Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

The former prime minister noted that Ambassador Anthony Phillips-Spencer, a People’s National Movement (PNM) political appointee, was recalled from Washington and installed to head the Strategic Services Agency (SSA) which was a danger to democracy, especially with a general election around the corner.

“Trinidad and Tobago is a place where you are unsafe in your homes, in your workplaces, and now even your data and confidential information is at risk.

“With a political appointee as head of the SSA, confidentiality has gone out of the window. Who exactly do they want to spy on?” she told the Express yesterday.

“The prime minister must explain exactly what national security threat there was that caused him to remove an independent person in the form of Major Roger Best and install a political appointee,” she added.

Persad-Bissessar said the PNM is continuing its patterns of tarnishing and tampering with independent institutions, as she pointed to scandals and questions with the Police Service Commission, Elections and Boundaries Commission, Integrity Commission and Trinidad and Tobago Police Service.

She said another arm of national security is severely compromised.

Persad-Bissessar reminded that in November 2010, as former prime minister, she revealed in the Parliament that the Security Intelligence Agency (SIA) at that time was engaged in illegal wire-tapping operations and reported directly to the minister of national security and the prime minister as head of the country’s National Security Council.

“Have we come full circle? Is Rowley using the SSA for his political benefit or for other clandestine agendas? Back then it was shown that parliamentarians, judges and journalists were all being spied upon.

“Today, the same risks and danger are present as all are now left ­exposed,” she said.

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