As law enforcement and counterterrorism agencies of leading democracies and authoritarian countries relentlessly push for back doors to secure encrypted messaging apps such as Signal and WhatsApp, strong encryption is needed in Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe now more than ever before.
Internal Facebook documents recently reviewed by ProPublica, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom, reveal that the social media behemoth’s censors often condone hate speech by white men but punish racialized minorities and activist groups for legitimate political expression.
The cybersecurity debate can undermine human rights and the international obligation on governments to protect them, argues Lucy Purdon, a policy officer at Privacy International.
First introduced in August 2016 as an anti-hacking law for the digital age, Robert Mugabe’s “Computer Crime and Cyber Crime Bill” is all about policing Zimbabweans’ use of the Internet and modern communications technologies. It seeks to criminalize at risk-Zimbabweans’ access to computer systems.
Unites States President Donald Trump’s Executive Order, the “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States”, jeopardizes the privacy and digital rights of U.S.-based Zimbabweans. Meanwhile, at home, Zimbabweans must content with Robert Mugabe’s burgeoning digital authoritarianism.
Zimbabwe urgently needs a grassroots movement and network of Internet freedom fighters dedicated to defending privacy and digital rights during Zimbabwe’s 2018 transition season and after Robert Mugabe’s departure.