The issue of National Security has been brought into sharper focus of late, and the United States is donating communication mechanisms to the Ministry of National Security, to enable a more efficient means of communication between the different arms of the Ministry. It is a widely debated and controversial topic of whether the United States of America is indeed eavesdropping on their allies, including Belize.
On Tuesday we raised the matter to Commandant of the Belize Coast Guard, who told us the main focus of this project is to make communication between the different security agencies of Belize safer from unwanted eavesdroppers, and not the other way around.
“Each branch of the military, meaning the BDF and the Coast Guard, and the law enforcement, meaning the police, and other agencies that work with us, are utilising different communication systems. So there is hardly any compatibility.
The idea here is to bring us on one mainstream communications system, that will enable us to talk to each other, in common talk groups, to be able to talk on a needs basis among the security forces, and not share information that is not needed to be shared.
Communication security is inbuilt in these features. It’s a project under CARSI, and therefore it not only extends to the military, but other elements of law enforcement, as well as other groups or agencies that support us in what we do. It is in process, taking place as we speak.”
There is also a need for compatibility between the different communication mechanisms of Ministry of National Security.
Admiral John Borland
“As it is right now, many of the communication systems that are used can easily be tapped into, can easily be compromised. These will be a safe and secure means of communications.
It will be a system that is set up for us, unique to us, run, controlled, and operated by us.
As part of the plan goes, it will not be a system that is co-operated or co-managed between the US and Belize. It’s going to be a Belizean system.
But bear in mind, when we are in operations with US forces, we have to be able to talk to them. So there will be frequencies that we can switch to and share, and talk to the aircraft or to their vessels at sea.”