Zimbabwe: Mugabe enacts law to spy on phones, 'net, mail

In the southern African nation of Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe has enacted a law granting state security agents full authority to surveil landline and mobile phones, postal mail and what little internet is available anyway, according to a government notice published on Friday. Snip from wire service report:

The law gives police and the departments of national security, defence intelligence and revenue powers to order the interception of communications and provides for the creation of a monitoring centre.

Postal, telecommunications and internet service providers will be required to ensure that their "systems are technically capable of supporting lawful interceptions at all times".

Critics have said the law is a government ploy to keep tabs on the opposition at a time when political tensions are mounting and Mugabe is deflecting growing criticism from Western powers.

At least we can rest comfortably here in America, knowing such a thing would never happen in a civilized, Western democracy.

Link (Thanks, Johan).

The move comes as economic and state structures in the world's fastest shrinking economy approach the point of absolute collapse: Link.

Previously on BoingBoing:

  • Africa -- Zimbabwe passes "interception of communications" law
  • Zimbabwe crisis: a view from South Africa on data intercept laws
  • Zimbabwe's Internet cut off due to lack of foreign currency
  • In Zimbabwe, bloggers and journalists pay a high price.