‘Cyber Act infringes on phone privacy rights’

THE Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) Zimbabwe says some sections of the Cyber and Data Protection Act infringe on people’s rights because they give government powers to snoop on citizens’ phone calls.

The cyber and data protection law is meant to consolidate cyber-related offences and provide for data protection in line with the Constitution’s declaration of rights as well as public and national interest.
It also aims to create a technology-driven business environment and encourage technological development and the lawful use of technology.
Speaking to NewsDay yesterday, Misa Zimbabwe legal officer Nompilo Simanje said: “The enforcement of those provisions of the Cyber and Data Protection Act such as the criminalisation of publishing of falsehoods leads to unjustifiable infringement on fundamental rights, hence it is an unconstitutional limitation to those rights.

“We need the issue of interception of communication to be corrected in that Act. There is already a Constitutional Court order that is in existence which we can relate to the old Constitution prior to the 2013 one. So seeing such a provision in the Act is to us an indicator that the law has resuscitated an unconstitutional provision.”
The cyber and data protection law outlaws pornography and sending pictures of naked children, cyber-bullying and harassment, among others. Newsday

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