Cellphone surveillance in South Africa – We should all be afraid

25 May 2018


Professor Jane Duncan has released a new book titled Stopping the Spies: Constructing and resisting the surveillance state in South Africa.

In the book, Duncan argues that the Rica process and institutions have been run down, and the public safety and security risks are huge.

The Regulation of Interception and Provision of Communication-related Information Act (Rica) came into effect in 2009 and serves as the basis for the lawful interception of citizens’ communications.

The impact is mostly felt by South Africans when they have to produce identification and proof of residence when registering new cellphone numbers.

The type of information mobile service providers give to law enforcement officials on receipt of a subpoena as part of the Rica process includes:

   The International Mobile Subscriber Identity number associated with a SIM.

   The handset’s International Mobile Equipment Identity number.

   Call dates and types.

   Whether a call was made or received and its duration.

   The number dialled or received.

   Outgoing SMSs.

   The base stations the phone connected to and the originating base station.

In her book, Duncan argues there are major flaws in the system. Read the full article on MyBroadband here.