Publication

Date.

11 Jun 2019

Author.

Frederico Links

Series.

Democracy Report

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Spying on Speech

The Threat of Unchecked Communications Surveillance

This paper examines Namibia’s approach to surveillance – in particular whether there is adequate legal oversight regarding Namibia’s intelligence services. In addition, there is a concern that Namibia’s spying services are operating in a legal vacuum as a crucial part of the Communications Act – dealing with surveillance – has not been brought into force. The paper delineates some recent evidence from public databases that indicates the government has been buying surveillance equipment on the international market despite the legal situation for surveillance being unclear. While government surveillance of citizens and others may be a necessary evil, it should be carried out lawfully and in an appropriate manner that strengthens rather than weakens democracy and fundamental freedoms.