Feeds

Zimbabwe blocks emails

Laughing Bob Mugabe at it again...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

Robert Mugabe's government is trying to force Zimbabwean ISPs to block politically sensitive emails. So far ISPs claim to be resisting such moves.

The move is important because the Web has become the only uncensored source of information now that opposition newspapers and other media have been closed down.

The Zimbabwean government wants ISPs to block emails considered "politically sensitive, objectionable, unauthorised or obscene". The law also mentions "anti-national activities". ISPs must also provide government officials with information to help track down the authors.

Internet providers say it is impossible for them to police all traffic they carry and don't have the storage capacity to keep all emails sent. Even Mugabe's security staff are unlikely to have time to read all of everyone's email.

But some subscribers have already received messages explaining that an email was blocked for containing "sensitive information".

An anomymous source from a Zimbabwean ISP told the BBC it believed the proposal was illegal. He said ISPs would happily cooperate in cases of crimes such as terrorism but that is was not their job to police the Internet.

Mugabe railed against the Internet as a tool of imperialist oppressors at the end of last year. He accused Britain, Canada and the US of using the Net to: "challenge our sovereignty through hostile and malicious broadcasts calculated to foment instability and destroy the state through divisions".

Late last year the government arrested 14 people accused of forwarding or circulating an email deemed to be offensive to Mugabe.

Reporters without Borders regards Zimbabwe as by far the worst threat to press freedom in southern Africa.

Zimbabwe's phone system, once one of Africa's finest, has suffered with the rest of the country but Internet use is high. In 2002 the CIA estimated it had 100,000 Internet users.®

Related stories

Mugabe rails against colonialist Internet
Nigerian 419: White farmers up the ante
Mugabe mocked on Zimbabwe embassy Web site

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.