KRA’s New Technology That Will Allow Taxman To Access Your Whatsapp Chats

Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) headquarters in Nairobi PHOTO/COURTESY

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) is setting up an advanced forensic laboratory in a bid to counter tax and financial fraud.

The new laboratory will allow the taxman to access personalized accounts and records in taxpayers’ computers and mobile phones.

This comes at a time when businesses have shifted from the popular paper-based record-keeping to online transactions and electronic-record keeping.

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The newly formed intelligence management division 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.

At the moment, KRA suffers a challenge in getting full access to data from computers or phones seized during investigations into suspected fraud or tax evasion.

However, with the new digital lab, KRA will be able to obtain data from all kind of smartphones and computers including Macintosh computers, iPhones and iPads.

“The tool should also be compatible and have ability to extract, analyse data from all types of phones and tablets, should include full range of peripherals and accessories needed for mobile forensic investigations

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“…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 said in a tender call.

The taxman set aside KSh 31.9 million to set up the digital lab.

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