Zambia’s Secret Service creating database of all mobile phone users

Zambia’s secret service OoP, or simply OP (Office of the president), is creating a database of all mobile phone users in the Southern African country.

In late 2011, Zambia’s government implemented the “Statutory Instrument on the Registration of Electronic Communication Apparatus No. 65 of 2011”. This meant that mobile phone users had to register their SIM cards.

The Zambian Watchdog reports that its sources have reliably informed them that parallel to the registration of SIM cards in the country by the three mobile service providers — MTN Zambia, Zamtel and Airtel Zambia –, the country’s OP is busy creating a database of all mobile phone customers.

According to some observers, it is quite concerning that as part of this registration process it is alleged that the mobile service providers are passing on this information to the OP. This is a concern as without any legal reasons, such information could be used to unlawfully monitor citizens and target specific citizens.

The registration process requires customers to pass on the following information:
– Full name
– National Registration Card Number
– Driving license (for Zambian subscribers)
– Passport or work-permit number (for Non Zambia Subscribers),
– Physical address
– E-mail address, if available
– Details of valid identification documents
– Serial Number of SIM card

Apparently, a team of no more than ten OP operatives has been assembled to create this supposed database, and they are reported to only  be working at night once their colleagues have knocked off.

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