A bill passed last week to allow the Zimbabwe government to monitor e-mails and other communications has been strongly condemned by the country’s internet providers. According to the bill, providers will be forced to install expensive monitoring equipment. The Zim government says it is similar to anti-terror laws in the UK and US. But internet providers argue it is a violation of human rights and privacy and “another act of oppression”.
Zimbabwe Internet Service Providers Association (Zispa) says the changes it had suggested to the proposed bill had all been ignored. If the Interception of Communications Bill is passed by the Senate, seen as a formality, the government will be able to monitor e-mails, telephone calls, the internet and postal communications.
The web-monitoring technology is said to be supplied by China to Zimbabwe. Government critics’ telephone calls are already monitored.
The good news is that Zimbabweans may be able to block monitoring with an encrypted overseas-based web-mail.