Join Right2Know Gauteng for a picket against surveillance of our communications at the Office of Interceptions Centre (OIC). This is part of a broader campaign against communications surveillance.
DATE: 27 April 2016 (Freedom day)
PLACE: Office of the Interception Centres (OIC) 25 Tambach Road Sunninghill, Sandton, GP
MORE INFO: Ntombi Tshabalala, email@example.com
R2K stands against surveillance of activists, unionists, journalists and ordinary citizens! The Office of the Interception Centres (OIC), which falls under the Department of State Security, is a key part of this surveillance regime. Today we are sending a message: Don’t spy on us! Hands off our internet!
On 30 March 2016, the United Nations Human Rights Committee issued a strong condemnation of South Africa’s surveillance capabilities, and the law that is meant to regulate them — the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Communication-Related Information Act (RICA).
This is futher evidence that South Africa’s communications surveillance capabilities are untransparent, open to abuse, and a major threat to human rights in South Africa.
Evidence is mounting that these surveillance capabilities have been used to target investigative journalists, political activists, unionists, and interfere in South Africa’s politics and public life.
Many of these abuses are possible because RICA lacks transparency or adequate safeguards, and because the most powerful mass surveillance capabilities appear not to be regulated by RICA at all.
These capabilities potentially affect everyone. By forcing every user in South Africa to link their identity to a particular SIM card, and by forcing all telecommunications providers to store every user’s metadata for three to five years, RICA effectively puts every communications user in South Africa under mass, untargeted surveillance.
The right to privacy is a constitutionally-protected right in itself, contained in Section 14 of the Bill of Rights, but it is also central to other rights, including freedom of expression, freedom of association, media freedom and the right to dignity. In a contested constitutional democracy such as South Africa, the right to privacy is crucial to achieving and defending many other rights.
This event forms part of Right2Know’s Freedom Week 2016. #FreedomWeek