Botswana’s government still figuring whether to “snoop” on mobile users

Botswana government is still negotiating on whether to allow the implementation of a law that could allow the monitoring of messages on all mobile networks in the country.

A section of Botswana’s parliamentary members are in support of the regulatory authority bill and think it should be passed.

According to a consensus, the move could reduce insults and messages of indecency that take place on social media sites such as Facebook.

The bill, which is on section 55 of the proposed act, states that any person who sends offensive or threatening messages by means of a public telecommunications system would be committing an offence.

Once the bill is passed, offenders could be penalized between $1300 and $6500 or even face imprisonment for a period of one to four years.

According to worldwide Internet status, out of Botswana’s 2 million people, 199,180 are active Facebook users showing a large population of the country could be affected by the bill.

Peter Siele, an MP in Botswana, said there is need for a regulatory body that will ensure people use social sites properly.

The Media Institute of Southern Africa commented terming Botswana’s move as “undemocratic for the government to ignore voices of key stakeholders.”

The institied added that it views the law as the backdrop of a fading democracy and that the regulation exempted the citizen from the operation of the media, and if passed, will affect the innocent citizens.

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