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Zimbabwe to Block & Censor E-mail, Identify Users

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the except-for-us dept.

Censorship 31

securitas writes "The BBC's Patrick Jackson reports that Zimbabwe's government plans to require ISPs to 'divulge details of e-mails deemed offensive or dangerous' and to provide 'government officials user details relating to material featuring anything from obscenity to "anti-national activities".' Last year Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe said that IT and communications technologies like the Internet were used 'by a few countries in the selfish interests of those countries which are in quest of global dominance and hegemony.' There is some confusion about the proposed provisions and if they mean that ISPs will be legally required to monitor e-mail or simply assist in government and criminal investigations, as many other countries require."

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31 comments

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Us next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9314747)

Is this what the US is heading towards eventually in its pursuit of "national security"?
AC to try and avoid getting caught [or jsut because I'm lazy?]

Terrorist Squads? (2, Funny)

Elik (12920) | more than 10 years ago | (#9314748)

Hmmmm....I wonder what happens if I send an email to someone in there that is spamming me and I send them an ascii art of middle finger. Would that considered offensive by the government for them to send the death squad at me in US?

Re:Terrorist Squads? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 10 years ago | (#9316135)

no, they would probably just start sending you scam letters.

really.

Re:Terrorist Squads? (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 10 years ago | (#9334448)

A better option might be to reply, delete the original text, and say something along the lines of "No, I do not want to help you overthrow your government and replace it with a worker's paradise. And stop sympathizing with the white farmers."

Ah yes, getting death squads to take out spammers. And who said a brutal dictatorship didn't have its uses?

I know Robert Mugabe (4, Funny)

Scaba (183684) | more than 10 years ago | (#9314813)

Robert Mugabe! He asked me to help him move $47 million in unclaimed funds from his country to the US and he would give me 15% for my troubles. I've already sent him the $15000 in transfer fees, so it's just a matter of days until I'm rich!!!

SIR SORRY (1)

Ieshan (409693) | more than 10 years ago | (#9315131)

SIR SORRY WE ARE DOING BEST WE CAN BUT WE HAVE RUN INTO LEGAL FEE PROBLEMS AND ARE MOVING ALONG QUICKLY POSSIBLE.

WITH GRACE GOD WE WILL COMPLETE SHORTLY THE TRANSFER PLEASE REMEMBER YOU CAN HELP MY COUNTRY IF YOU COULD PLEASE SEND $500 FOR LEGAL DOCUMENTS TO ENCLOSED ADDRESS.

Sincerely
RBORT MUGBE

Lots of caps:
This is a block of text with no caps that you should ignore. Nigerian spams without caps? Psh. It'll never happen. This is a block of text with no caps that you should ignore. Nigerian spams without caps? Psh. It'll never happen. This is a block of text with no caps that you should ignore. Nigerian spams without caps? Psh. It'll never happen. This is a block of text with no caps that you should ignore. Nigerian spams without caps? Psh. It'll never happen.

Re:SIR SORRY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9320920)

This is a block of text with no caps that you should ignore.

You fail on the first letter!

If he wants to catch them, he should try this.. (0)

m_chan (95943) | more than 10 years ago | (#9314887)

Dear Sir,

Firstly I must first solicit your confidence in this transaction. I am President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and it is my great regret that the IT and communications technologies like the Internet worth $35,432,000USD are being held hostage by the selfish interests of those countries which are in quest of global dominance and hegemony.

If I may beg your assistance in freeing the ITs, I will be happy to name your family the beneficiary of their accounts. Thank you in advanced for your anticipated cooperation.

Best Regards,

Mr. Robert Mugabe

I'm surprised... (4, Interesting)

Bob Cat - NYMPHS (313647) | more than 10 years ago | (#9314917)

that a genocidal maniac would try to stop the free passage of information!

C'mon, censored Internet usage is the LEAST of the troubles in Zimbabwe. How about famine? Wholesale murder of the farmers? Hmm?

Re:I'm surprised... (1)

crimethinker (721591) | more than 10 years ago | (#9316772)

that a genocidal maniac would try to stop the free passage of information!

censored Internet usage is the LEAST of the troubles in Zimbabwe. How about famine? Wholesale murder of the farmers?

Censored internet usage is just one more measure that the genocidal maniac is using to try to keep the outside world from learning about the particular abuses. In that sense, it is a problem that deserves attention, because it allows the other, much more serious problems to fester and grow.

-paul

I live in Zimbabwe (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9314934)

This stupid government will try anything to silence us. Whenever someone tries to speak out agaiasdalkfj


[NO CARRIER]

No great loss (3, Interesting)

whoda (569082) | more than 10 years ago | (#9314969)

Slavery is alive and well in Zimbabwe, what's a little censorship?

Re:No great loss (1)

Is_907 (740638) | more than 10 years ago | (#9320445)

uh... sure it is. (I grew up there and visit as often as possible... leaving in 3 weeks, actually)

ZIMBABWE 4** SCAM? (2, Funny)

magefile (776388) | more than 10 years ago | (#9315000)

SO ... WHEN DOES ZIMBABWE TAKE OVER NIGERIA? I THINK I'LL START A FUND TO COLLECT MONEY TO HIRE MERCENARIES TO HELP THEM WITH THE INVASION. TO HELP ME OUT, I'LL NEED A CC# OR BANK ACCOUNT INFORMATION POSTED IN THIS THREAD.

HELP STAMP OUT NIGERIAN SCAMS - AND ALL THE LOOT FROM THE NIGERIAN TREASURY WILL BE SENT TO THOSE WHO POST HERE!

friggin lameness filter ruining my joke ... junk text follows:
Important Stuff
Please try to keep posts on topic.
Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads.
Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said.
Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about.
Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page)

A Sysiphean Task? (1)

orkysoft (93727) | more than 10 years ago | (#9315012)

That'll be easier said than done, what with all the spam and all. 90%+ of spam would be considered offensive...

Wow! (1)

GypC (7592) | more than 10 years ago | (#9315013)

He's almost as evil as George Bush!

Re:Wow! (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 10 years ago | (#9315928)

There are plenty of people more evil than George Bush out there- but few who are as stupid.

Re:Wow! (1)

GypC (7592) | more than 10 years ago | (#9316466)

Really? I didn't know that Harvard gave away MBAs to stupid people.

Re:Wow! (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 10 years ago | (#9316648)

They do if Daddy pays enough. After all- the Ivy League is almost as bad as schools in India- the top 25% of diplomas are always reserved for the rich.

And certainly, anybody who doesn't get their drinking under control before the age of 40 isn't exactly above the average when it comes to IQ.

Re:Wow! (1)

GypC (7592) | more than 10 years ago | (#9318796)

After all- the Ivy League is almost as bad as schools in India- the top 25% of diplomas are always reserved for the rich.

Do you have any evidence of this or is it purely conjecture?. That's a pretty serious accusation against a school that prides itself on academic rigor. Well-connected students fail out of Harvard all the time.

Re:Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9318912)

Do you have any evidence of this

Yeah, he already presented it, none other than George W. (you're either for tyranny in a patriot's mask or you're against us) Bush.

Re:Wow! (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 10 years ago | (#9319019)

But Cs and Ds and a few well placed contributions will get you through- even if you're a partying drunk, apparently (W's undergraduate record isn't all that grand). It's not like Harvard or Yale are ENGINEERING schools after all. Just business and law and other assorted humanities. No real creative thought neccessary. Most of the people here on slashdot could probably outthink anybody who got one of those memorize-and-regurgitate degrees. It's not like the people at Harvard Business School do anything USEFULL for the country- and let's face it, many of the more spectacular corporate criminals as of late have MBA degrees from Harvard.

Give me somebody who can actually come up with creative solutions and who actually can read a newspaper over the elite Harvard money boys any day. At least they produce a real product to earn a living instead of just being parasites off of the work of others.

Re:Wow! (1)

GypC (7592) | more than 10 years ago | (#9319358)

So that's a "no"?

Re:Wow! (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 10 years ago | (#9319452)

It's a "This president is proof that it happened at least once". Thus the concept that Harvard actually prides itself on high academic standards is disproved BECAUSE this president graduated. No more proof than that is needed.

In addition, we aren't talking about a real education anyway- nothing practical comes out of Harvard and Yale, just more ways to oppress the little people.

Re:Wow! (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 10 years ago | (#9334478)

Give me somebody who can actually come up with creative solutions and who actually can read a newspaper over the elite Harvard money boys any day.

What, like John Kerry or Al Gore? Yeah, they're definitely cut from a different cloth than President Bush.

Re:Wow! (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 10 years ago | (#9335355)

No, I was thinking more like Dennis Kerrigan or Lionel Ritche.

However, both Kerry and Gore actually READ, which is an improvement over Bush; however, all three are Free Traitors who want to sell America to the highest bidder so it isn't clear that we'd actually get better government out of the ones who can read.

Re:Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9341019)

At least they're smarter than their pretzels.

Re:Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9341075)

If the National Guard gave him an honorable discharge after being AWOL for two years, why should we expect better from a profit-driven private school? They gave him his diploma for a wad of cash and figured they'd never hear about him again. Hell, given his druggie nature, they probably figured he'd be dead within a decade.

Hm. (5, Interesting)

caramelcarrot (778148) | more than 10 years ago | (#9315033)

My cousin's new husband is currently wanted by the Zimbabwe government for being involved with the student unions there. He's currently just completing a law degree in south africa, and Mugabe and his merry lot only really pose a threat to him if he tries to return to Zimbabwe, as he discovered when he tried to visit his family there and only escape with a few minutes as some government thug payed one of his regular visits to relatives. He's even met Mugabe's nephew, or similar, not a very nice chap apparently.

On the actual topic, though, I'm presuming this will apply to ISPs inside zimbabwe, and if so, are they going to block ISPs in South afica or other nearby countries?

It's fairly obvious. (1)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 10 years ago | (#9315122)

"There is some confusion about the proposed provisions and if they mean that ISPs will be legally required to monitor e-mail or simply assist in government and criminal investigations, as many other countries require."

Come on, this is a dictatorship we're talking about here, which one do YOU think?

"anything from obscenity to..." (1)

k4_pacific (736911) | more than 10 years ago | (#9316410)

Fortunately, the amount of pornographic spam going around would effectively make this very difficult.
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