The Zimbabwean Government has passed Statutory Instrument 94 of 2021 which empowers the Postal and Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe Potraz, to install a Telecommunications Traffic Monitoring Systems (TTMS) across all mobile networks operators.
According to the Statutory instrument, all mobile networks are effectively demanded to comply with the directive and must not cause any delay otherwise they shall be found guilty or liable of a crime that carries imprisonment term of not more than 90 days .
The system will be physically installed at all mobile network systems at a layer that gives them the desired results to remotely monitor and access networks traffic.
The TTMS system will be used chiefly by Potraz to collect data from all mobile networks on traffic usage and revenue assurance, a move that will help the Government to independently assess the information it receives.
However the telecommunications traffic monitoring system must be clearly installed in a way that it is not able to snoop or sell out private communication between individuals states part of the act.
A telecommunications traffic monitoring system or
monitoring hardware and software will only be installed over such
dedicated links with signalling information where it shall be physically
impossible for the Authority to record, monitor or tap into the content
of any personal communication.
(7) For the avoidance of doubt, it is declared that the Authority
is not, for any reason permitted by these regulations to tap into any
communication of subscribers.
(8) Any licensee who finds any indication of access to
information that this system is not permitted to access, by an official of
the Authority is required to notify the Authority, the TTMS Committee
and the subscriber concerned concurrently.
(9) Any such subscriber can then make use of existing law
to find recourse.
However their mandate and purpose is not that limited the TTMS has legal support to carry on activities that allows it to and oblidges all Licenceees or operators to submit the data call detail records or any information requested under these regulations online, by electronic means or in a portable device such as an external memory or compact disc (CD).
For purposes of implementing these regulations, licensees shall provide to the Authority, the following information—
(a) the call detail records for all national on-net and offnet traffic and international incoming and outbound telecommunications traffic, including transit and international telecommunications traffic in a format
prescribed by the Authority;
(b) billing statements by international carriers or telecommunication licence holders for the telecommunication traffic terminated in Zimbabwe or invoices sent to international carriers or telecommunication licence holders;
(c) the traffic volume in minutes and revenue for telecommunication traffic terminated to each international carrier contracting the termination service with the telecommunication licence holder; and
(d) any other necessary information that is related to the management of the telecommunication licence holder’s networks for the provision of data, SMS,
voice services, including the telecommunication licence holders’ network signalling data links, recorded telecommunication traffic, contracts and invoices to and from carriers.
While many people have however hit the alarm button over the system, tech analysts have allayed any fears of possible snooping stating that such an arrangement does not guarantee unwarranted activities