New law permits email snooping

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe's government at the weekend unveiled a controversial new law that seeks to monitor and intercept internet communication among citizens.
The Interception of Communication Bill will empower the government to monitor telephones and electronic mail of any individuals

suspected of threatening “national security”.
The government will set up a “communication centre to monitor and intercept certain communications in the course of their transmission through a telecommunication, postal or any other related service system,” reads part of the Bill.
Mugabe is likely to use his ruling Zanu (PF) party’s majority in Parliament to push through the Bill in the next three months.
Last month, Zimbabwean journalists, media lawyers and internet service providers vowed to lobby parliamentarians to block the passage of the new law saying it violated their constitutional right to freedom of expression.
Human rights groups in Zimbabwe say Mugabe wants to use the law to stifle criticism because of the severe six-year old economic crisis many blame on his government’s wrong policies.
Zimbabwe already has some of the toughest media laws in the world that restrict the free flow of information among citizens with for example, journalists being required to register with a government-appointed commission before they can be allowed to practise their profession.
Meanwhile, police in Zimbabwe’s second biggest city of Bulawayo on Friday blocked a belated World Press Freedom Day march by journalists citing the tense situation in the country.
The march, which was scheduled for Saturday, was organised by the Media Alliance of Zimbabwe. – ZimOnline

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