S.Africa won't tap into Blackberry smartphones: ministry

Sep 08, 2011

South Africa's communication ministry on Thursday said it would not regulate Blackberry smartphone's encrypted messenger service to help catch criminals.

Earlier this week, deputy minister Obed Bapela told a telecommunications conference that Blackberry messenger service (BBM) posed a that the government needed to "address with urgency".

But ministry spokeswoman Pearl Seopela said government was still working on its cyber policy review.

"Government has no intention to intercede or interfere with the privacy of communications between private citizens for lawful purposes," she said in a statement.

Bopela reportedly said that criminals were using BBM to plan and execute crimes, and that government wanted to "review BBM like in the UK and Saudi Arabia".

Messages on the smartphone, made by Canadian company , are encrypted, in contrast to social networks like Twitter.

South Africa already required mobile phone SIM cards to be registered to allow authorities to track and trace them during criminal investigations.

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User comments : 1

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frajo
not rated yet Sep 10, 2011
"Government has no intention to intercede or interfere with the privacy of communications between private citizens for lawful purposes,"
This political lingo just means that the government is going to intercede or interfere with the privacy of communication between anybody who somehow is not regarded to be a "private citizen" and with the privacy of anybody who's communications are - according to the government's view - not for lawful purposes.
In other words, they just have to call you "no private citizen" or to claim your communication is "not for lawful purposes" in order to spy on you. No matter whether that claim is true.

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