ZICTA ‘toothless’ over phone tapping

THE  Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) does not have the necessary technology to counter the illegal tapping into phone conversations of members of the public, ZICTA public relations manager Ngabo Nankonde has said.

And the Zambia Republican Party (ZRP) president Wright Musoma has asked Government to invest in technology at ZICTA if it was to carry out its functions effectively.

Reacting to public pressure for ZICTA to probe phone tapping, Ms Nankonde said investigations into the tapping, recording, publishing, and subsequent uploading of phone conservation between Information Minister Chishimba Kambwili and Kitwe district commissioner Chanda Kabwe have not commenced because of lack of a police request.

She said ZICTA could not act on the matter until the rightful procedure was followed by the police asking the authority to conduct the investigations according to the law.

Ms. Nankonde explained that the procedure prior to commencement of investigations was such that the aggrieved party launched a complaint with the police while the police takes up the matter and contacts ZICTA if they needed any assistance over the matter.

“ZICTA is not doing anything in investigating the alleged party because the police have not asked ZICTA for assistance. The procedure is that an aggrieved party would report the matter to the police, who would then contact ZICTA for any assistance if any, which may be required within our regulatory mandate,” she said.

But Mr. Musoma said ZICTA should be equipped with latest technology if it was to effectively perform its duties.

He said technological advances came with new challenges to the authority as those involved in cybercrime were becoming more sophiscated in their execution of illegal activities.

“Now that it is clear that ZICTA does not have adequate equipment capable of detecting phone tappers, there is need for Governmnet to invest in equipping the institution with modern equipment which will respond to the demand.

‘‘However, the question is: when did ZICTA realise that they did not have adequate equipment? They needed to bring out these issues so that they could be addressed,” Mr. Musoma said.

He called upon the police to take issues of phone tapping seriously by arresting those involved in the crime.

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