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

September 8th, 2011 in Technology / Telecom

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.

(c) 2011 AFP

"S.Africa won't tap into Blackberry smartphones: ministry." September 8th, 2011. http://phys.org/news/2011-09-safrica-wont-blackberry-smartphones-ministry.html