Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa inherited Robert Mugabe’s dangerous Cybercrime and Cybersecurity Bill. Now he’s transforming the proposed law into a draconian information control weapon against the open Internet, democracy, human rights, free flow of information, and privacy rights protected by Zimbabwe’s 2013 constitution.
In a recent cabinet reshuffle, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe unveiled a brand new ministry of Cyber Security, Threat Detection and Mitigation. The ministry further extends the dictator’s authoritarian agenda and ability to conduct repressive activities into cyberspace.
Members of Zimbabwe’s growing army of Internet-savvy freedom fighters “can easily be identified” by Mugabe’s all-seeing surveillance state, according to the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ), Zimbabwe’s telecommunications regulator.
Zimbabwe’s Cybercrime and Cybersecurity Bill, Robert Mugabe’s newest information control weapon, seeks to cripple Internet-savvy Zimbabweans in the diaspora, particularly rights defenders, opposition party activists, and investigative journalists, ahead of the much-anticipated harmonized 2018.
On July 12, 2017, a coalition of websites, technology companies, digital rights organizations, and Internet users in the United States joined forces to defend a democratizing idea that matters for Zimbabwe, especially in the final months of Robert Mugabe’s dictatorship: net neutrality.
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.