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Interception of Communications Bill - Index of articles
spying Bill fails test
April 27, 2007
version of the controversial Interception
of Communications Bill has again failed to pass the democratic
threshold after the government conceded that the spying bill is
still as draconian as the original.
first withdrew the Bill which was gazetted on 26 May 2007 after
strong criticism from the Parliamentary Legal Committee (PLC) forcing
it to come up with the revised version.
the PLC Professor Welshman Ncube told the weekly Financial Gazette
that the government had again undertaken to make fresh amendments
to the revised Bill that was before the legal committee.
maintains and insists that the revised version remains a retrogressive
and repressive piece of legislation which has no place in a democratic
proposed law seeks to empower the chief of defence intelligence,
the director-general of the Central Intelligence Organisation, the
Commissioner of Police and the Commissioner General of the Zimbabwe
Revenue Authority to intercept telephonic, e-mail and cellphone
The Bill seeks
to create a monitoring centre whose function will be to facilitate
authorised interception of communications.
The Bill also
empowers state agencies to open mail passing through the post and
through licensed courier service providers.
This comes despite
a Supreme Court ruling in 2004 which declared unconstitutional Sections
98 and 103 of the Posts and Telecommunications (PTC) Act because
they violated Section 20 of the Constitution.
Section 20 guarantees
freedom of expression, freedom to receive and impart ideas without
interference with one’s correspondence.
The Bill makes
it compulsory for service providers to install at their expense
software and hardware to enable them to intercept and store information
as directed by the state.
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