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This article participates on the following special index pages:
Interception of Communications Bill - Index of articles
sad day for Zimbabwe'
August 03, 2007
the Index of articles on the Interception of Communications Bill
Harare - Zimbabwean
President Robert Mugabe has signed into law a bill allowing the
state to eavesdrop on private phone conversations and monitor faxes
of Communication Act, published in the government gazette on
Friday, provides for the setting up of an interception centre to
listen into telephone conversations, open mail and intercept emails
The law also compels
internet service providers to install equipment to facilitate interception
"at all times or when so required" and ensure that its
equipment allows full-time monitoring of communications.
"A service provider
who fails to give assistance in terms of this section shall be guilty
of an offence and liable to a fine or to imprisonment for a period
not exceeding three years or to both," reads part of the new
is a very sad day for Zimbabwe'
The law came
under a barrage of criticism while it was still being debated, with
media groups saying it was a major step backwards.
Zimbabwe Internet Service
Providers Association said many operators would shut down if they
failed to raise foreign currency to import the interception devices.
"We have always
been intercepted during communication, be it emails, phones or even
at post offices, but with the passing of the law they will now do
it on a large scale. This is a very sad day for Zimbabwe,"
said Harare-based media lawyer Wilbert Mandinde.
The government defended
the new law saying it was necessary to protect the country from
international terrorism and espionage.
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