'SA won’t regulate BlackBerry chat'

2011-09-08 10:10

Cape Town - South Africa has no intention of clamping down on Research in Motion’s BlackBerry Messenger service, the country’s communications minister said on Thursday, contradicting comments this week from a junior minister.

"Government has no intention to regulate or legislate against BlackBerry encryption messenger services (BBM)," Communications Minister Radhakrishna Roy Padayachie said in a statement.

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

Deputy Communications Minister Obed Bapela said in a speech on Monday the government could consider regulating the BlackBerry Messenger chat service,which is encrypted, due to concern it could be used by criminals.

British police and politicians said last month they believed BBM was used by rioters and looters to incite violence.


  • Keenan Magiera - 2011-09-08 18:08

    This article is painfully repetitive...

      Charles N - 2011-09-08 18:41

      " regulate .. against BlackBerry encryption messenger services". Of course not, they want to keep the encryption to keep a false sense of security. ""Government has no intention to intercede or interfere with the privacy of communications between private citizens for lawful purposes". Only with all the criminals. Which is... everybody except themselves...

  • R'rephistöch - 2011-09-08 19:44

    They won't legislate against BB/RIM because they already have. The RICA act specifies that ANY telecommunications provider who wants to operate in South Africa must provide a mechanism for spying on our communications so that "lawful intercept" can be achieved when a Judge permits it (Juma's new guy maybe?). RICA may make it easier for law-enforcement to catch criminals after the fact, but in order to actually prevent crime, they have to be listening in before that. RICA has effectively classified cellphones and laptops as weapons, that must be licensed and regulated as such, and I wonder if this might be the reason the newspaper headlines recently announced a 60% increase in petty crime in the Cape - more muggings targeting cellphones for use in dodgy operations? Many countries around the world are implementing RICA-like measures (RIPA in the UK, the PATRIOT act in the US etc), but they steepen a dangerous slippery slope to mandatory recording devices in our living rooms - after all, people might plot all sorts of criminal nonsense comfortably seated over coffee, and in person. The huge RICA databases of private and personally identifiable information that has already been sold to the Direct Marketing Association is another matter altogether...

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