Zambian government intensifies crackdown on Internet users

The PF government has heightened its internet crack down on citizens who use to discuss matters that affect them.

But the crackdown on the Internet may land the Zambian government in trouble as it risks being listed as one of the Internet enemies.

The government through its secret service is now monitoring and gathering Internet Protocol (IP) addresses of people who regularly comment on political matters on popular news websites or social media like Facebook and Twitter.

As example, the Zambia Media Forum, a private discussion group has been invaded by state agents who are passing on details of group members to the state.

Zambia Medium Forum is a discussion group whose members are mostly Zambian journalists and Civil Society activists. Some of the members work for government and parastatal companies.

Last week, at least three members of the Forum were interrogated by OP agents from their respective offices.

Earlier last week, government gave security agencies over K5 billion to destroy independent news websites in Zambia.

Sources in the police and telecommunication industry revealed that the government wants Zambian Watchdog and any other independent news website destroyed as soon as possible.

The project was launched last week on Monday and so far, the police have visited all Mobile and Internet Service providers to see how they can help in the scheme.

Some police officers have been sent to China, Europe and USA to learn how to hack websites and to learn how such websites are operated.

Sources say the government is unhappy with the readily and freely available information on the Internet which has rendered government media almost useless.

But the onslaught by the PF government on interment media and social networks may cost the government on the International scene.

Reporters Without Borders is an organisation that, among other things, monitors and documents how government abuses citizens who use the internet. It publishes a list of Internet enemies and this list isn useful to donors to determine where there money goes. Here is a current list http://march12.rsf.org/en/

For Zambians who are being victimised by the Zambian government for using the Internet, you can make a complaint to Reporters Without Borders using these emails: [email protected] or [email protected]

The Zambian Watchdog is in the process of submitting a complaint too.

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