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No Privacy, Guaranteed

Namibia’s mass surveillance framework is out of step with recent African human rights guidance Just as Namibia was about to operationalise its new mass state surveillance framework, it was already apparent that this framework does not align with African best practice guidelines.  On 1 April 2024, Namibia’s enhanced mass communications surveillance framework came into force […]

Ballots for Jobs

Leveraging Youth Voting Power to Address Unemployment As Namibia gears up for its Presidential and National Assembly elections in November 2024, the nation finds itself at a crossroads where the employment aspirations of its youth intersect with the fundamental fabric of its democracy. In the 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections young people constituted more […]

A Complex Legacy

Mourning periods are usually not associated with honest assessments of those recently departed. This was very true of the weeks following President Hage Geingob’s death when praise singing dominated the public narrative. This is to some extent inevitable. Eulogies are by their nature tributes rather than balanced accounts. President Geingob’s strong points were indeed stressed […]

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 […]