The Government intends to introduce a secret internet monitoring system that will enable officials vet all communications coming in and out of Zambia.
Confirming the scheme National Restoration Party President Elias Chipimo said the introduction of communication monitoring would clearly undermine civil liberties “Every Zambian must rise up and resist.” he said.
The idea is that government wants to put a system in place where if the Attorney General authorises it, the office of the President can snoop on all emails and internet traffic. This type of activity belongs to the One party era and should not be accepted under the guies of security.
Our rights as zambians are being eroded daily and we need less authoritarianism and more attention to development.
“When you combine that intended action with the clamping down of opposition activities and the intimidatory tactics we have witnessed in Mpongwe it is clear that the administration is going to do everything in its power to
stifle opposition activities.” he said.
Mr. Chipimo added “We are aware there are attempts underway by the current administration to introduce monitoring software and hardware on all internet traffic into and out of Zambia.” he said.
He was aware that members of the Office of the President had been visiting Internet Service Providers in an attempt to facilitate the monitoring of email traffic and this would clearly undermine civil liberties.
He warned that the Government was exercising tendencies that bordered on outright dictatorship.
Stiffling the opposition, he said, had the effect of undermining the inalienable rights enjoyed by the general populace.
Meanwhile in Canada the Government yesterday abandoned its much-criticized internet surveillance bill, which would have allowed the government to keep tabs on its citizens and was disguised under the cloak of fighting child pornographers.
But, activists viewed the proposed bill as a huge infringement on privacy.
Justice Minister Rob Nicholson announced that Bill C-30, which caused public ire over privacy, is dead.
What made the legislation dangerous was that it forced Internet service providers to have systems that allowed police to intercept and track online communications.
Also, it would have permitted authorities to have warrantless access to Internet subscriber information, including name, address, telephone number, email address and Internet protocol address.
“We’ve listened to the concerns of Canadians,” Nicholson told reporters. “We will not be proceeding with Bill C-30 … including the warrantless mandatory disclosure of basic subscriber information, or the requirement for telecommunications service providers to build intercept capabilities within their systems”.
Bill C-30 or otherwise known as the Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act was introduced in Parliament less than a year ago, and it was presented as a choice that Canadians must make: to either support the bill or be on the side of child pornographers.