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Zimbabwe crisis: a view from South Africa on data intercept laws

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Zimbabwe crisis: a view from South Africa on data intercept laws


Following up on a previous BB post about internet-related aspects of the current meltdown in Zimbabwe, BoingBoing reader Bretton Vine writes:

I'm in from South Africa, currently experiencing what the popular media calls a 'human tsunami' of illegal immigrants from Zimbabwe across our borders for everything from work to medicine and even basic foodstuffs which are smuggled back into Zimbabwe for resale.

The recent enforcing of price controls has left Zimbabwe shelves empty, militia going ape, major cross-border escape (5000 captured in last two weeks, and that's barely a dent in the number that make it though).

Add to this is bittersweet irony that the 'Rainbow Nation' of South Africa is experiencing a form of African xenophobia historically unparalleled despite more than a decade since apartheid become the past. But this is another heated discussion not related to my email.

I just wanted to point out that the Internet Service Providers' Association of South Africa hosts an annual free Internet conference every year, with this year being out 6th.

Back in 2004 we had Declan McCullagh out for one of the talks[1, 2]. While he certainly seemed to enjoy himself, he also left a huge impression over interception issues (and made some government people quite uncomfortable in the process). At last year's event (10th anniversary for ISPA, 5th for iWeek) we even had vendors for lawful intercept technology exhibiting and giving talks [3] along with talks from Wim Roggeman[4], Prof Michael Rotert[5] and representatives from the OIC (central interception spooks, not clearly functional yet) trying hard to remain inconspicuous in their suits among geeks of varying shapes and sizes.

With regard to the whole Interception in Zimbabwe issue it's a little bit of a non-event given so few people have access to either phones or the Internet in that country, and that no Zim ISP can afford to purchase the equipment necessary to implement anyway.

It's a slightly similar situation here in South Africa, except for the following...


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posted by Xeni Jardin