POTRAZ Not Mandated To Monitor Online Content

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Image Credit: Techzim

Postal and Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) Deputy Director Alfred Marisa has said the service provider body’s mandate does not extend to monitoring of content on the internet during the Zimbabwe Internet Governance Forum (ZIGF) 2017 in Harare today.

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The Deputy Director said that although there is fear that POTRAZ snoops, the organisation is actually a strong advocate for the protection of privacy.

“I think we do not get credit here, perhaps the U.S. government does snoop into content. We do not snoop into people’s content online,” said Marisa.

ZIGF 2017 which was running under the theme shaping and securing Zimbabwe’s digital future was addressing questions relating to the influence of digitization on the economy, sustainable development, the data economy, social media, human rights on the internet, cybersecurity as well as bridging the digital gender divide.

The forum which also includes civil society groups, government, the private sector, academia and technical communities also discussed on the draft Cyber Security Bill and the Electronics Transactions Bill.

Cade Zvavanjanja a Multi-Stakeholder Co-ordinating Team (MCT) member who was part of the panel discussion team that led the discussion said that the Cyber Bill did not give much power to the cybercrime committee stipulated in the draft.

“When you look at our constitution where it says in consultancy with, it means the minister can either take advice or not.”

One of the functions of the Cybersecurity Centre shall be to advise Government and implement Government policy on cybercrime and cybersecurity.

ZIGF 2017 comes at a time when there are fears of ransomware that are attacking computers worldwide which is part of cybercrime. The issue of ransomware raised fears that the bill will be caught up in the fast-changing cyber crimes as criminals event new tactics for the internet users. A panelist during the workshop said the cyber crimes change so there can never be a 100% bill for the online breaches. This year a ransomware called Wanner cry is said to have been responsible for a global cyber-attack on more than 200,000 thousand organisations.

ZIGF is a multi-stakeholder forum for public policy dialogue on issues of Internet Governance in Zimbabwe. The forum was launched in 2015 on a workshop that was attended 159 representatives of different stakeholder groups.

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