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Interception of Communications Bill - Index of articles
internet service providers struggle to buy spying equipment
August 10, 2007
the Index of articles on the Interception of Communications Bill
BULAWAYO - The
Zimbabwe Internet Service Providers Association (ZISPA) says it
is struggling to raise funds to buy intercepting equipment currently
pegged at US$1 million each in a fresh huddle for the Harare authorities.
Mugabe last week signed the controversial Interception
of Communications Bill that allows state security agents to
pry into private mail and electronic communications in what political
analysts said was a sign of tightening of repression by the Zimbabwean
Under the new law, service providers who defy the law by failing
to install the spying equipment face up to three years in jail.
Shadreck Nkala, the ZISPA
chairperson, said internet service providers were currently in a
fix as they could not afford to buy and install the spying equipment
as required under the new law.
Nkala said service providers
were not in position to buy the equipment anytime soon because of
the prohibitive cost adding that virtually all of them will be pushed
out of business if they were asked to buy the equipment without
"If we have to
remain in business, we need to look at what costs we will incur
and how the equipment will be financed. The government has to be
"There is need
for a mutual relationship between the government and the service
providers because we would all need state-of-the-art equipment which
is very expensive," said Nkala.
Nkala said the Zimbabwe government, which is battling its worst
economic recession that has seen inflation zoom past the 4 500 percent
mark last May, would need to pay out more to finance the buying
of the spying equipment.
has to contribute funds the equipment. We have engaged Potraz and
the Ministry of Transport and communication on the matter and they
have to play a role as well.
We will meet with government
soon to chart the way forward," he said.
Transport and Communications
Minister, Chris Mushowe, could not be reached for comment on the
Zimbabwe human rights
groups have criticised the new interception law arguing that the
Zimbabwean government will use the legislation to further emasculate
the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leaders
and other government critics.
The Zimbabwe government
denies the charge insisting the new law is in line with international
trends to fight terrorism and ensure national security. - ZimOnline
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