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SIM Card Registration & The NCIS

The obscurest state agency is handed a most powerful ‘instrument’ with only presidential scrutiny  IN his ministerial statement of 29 December 2023, extending the SIM card registration period to the end of March 2024, Information and Communication Technology minister Peya Mushelenga made it a point to start off by extolling the virtues of SIM card […]

Namibia’s Unfolding ‘Identity Crisis’

Compulsory SIM card registration, mandatory data retention and biometrics harvesting will degrade human rights and democracy  In a few days communications privacy comes to an end in Namibia.  This is because on 1 January 2024 perpetual mass surveillance will become the norm in the country as mandatory SIM card registration and data retention are fully […]

Struggling To Consult

The government approach is not how it should be done This has already been a highly instructive year in terms of what the government considers ‘consultation’.  To recap, in the first half of the year, various government authorities rushed to parliament a raft of bills that have to be enacted before the end of September […]

Data Protection in the Age of Mass Surveillance – Part II

The proposed data protection bill is not up to standard concerning fundamental rights, freedoms, as well as privacy Addressing the room early on 22 August 2023 on behalf of the Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology (MICT), as she opened what was called a validation workshop for the latest version of the data protection bill, […]

Data Protection in the Age of Mass Surveillance – Part I

Namibian authorities pitch flawed safeguards as pervasive state surveillance looms “Today aims at setting the regulatory framework on how personal data should be collected, stored and processed,” said Linda Aipinge, director of ICT Development in the Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology (MICT), on the morning of 22 August 2023 to a conference hall full […]

Quality of Democracy Under Threat

New state mass surveillance powers and looming watered-down privacy protections will damage Namibia’s press freedom standing    Just after 9 am on 3 May 2023 the Namibian presidency issued a statement to mark the country’s retaking of first position on the African continent on the 2023 World Press Freedom Index. Pride dripped from a World Press […]

Questionable Harvesting Of Biometric Data

MTC has been scanning fingerprints and taking face photos while the legal framework only requires basic information for SIM registration. In a usually empty retail space just around the corner from the box office inside the MTC Dome in Swakopmund, a crowd of people filled out forms and then queued to have their fingerprints scanned […]

Thoughts On The Pandemic – Two Years On

State of Emergency The initial lockdown was difficult for the public to deal with, but it was necessary. At the time we didn’t know how harmful the virus might be – so it was legitimate for government to introduce emergency measures and limit some rights, such as freedom of movement and size of public gatherings. […]

The 4IR in Namibia Faces Fundamental Issues

For many first world countries, the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) – which refers to the fusion of advances in artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, the internet of things (IoT), and other technologies – is already upon them. Countries such as the United States have made great strides in providing a blueprint for others to reference especially […]

Time to Reward the Vaccinated

Recently, local financial services company Cirrus Capital produced a chart showing that, at current rates, Namibia will only reach its target for COVID-19 vaccinations (1 478 756 people or approximately 60% of the population) midway through 2026. This extremely sluggish vaccination rate means that Namibia will have little protection against a potentially damaging fourth wave […]