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Zambia denies spying allegations

Zambia denies spying allegations

The Zambia government has denied allegations of collusion with Huawei technicians to spy on rivals as detailed in a recent Wall Street Journal report.

The WSJ report quoted senior security officials in Zambia as saying Huawei technicians helped the government cybersecurity force to access communication lines and social media sites of opposition bloggers.

Zambia's cybersecurity force or the Cybercrime Crack Squad is a cyber-surveillance unit based at ZICTA offices.

Responding to the report, officials denied ever having used ZICTA to spy on citizens.

The country's Information and Broadcasting Minister Dora Siliya said the Zambian government is one "of laws" and it could not, under any circumstances, engage in the illegal interception of communication of its citizens.

Siliya added that ZICTA is a lawful regulator of the ICT sector and operates in accordance with the country's constitution that explicitly guarantees the rights of citizens to privacy, including personal communication and data.

Huawei is a recognised supplier of technology as part of the country's Smart Zambia project, established to integrate digital technologies across government departments via ZICTA, with funding from the Chinese government.

Siliya said: "The allegations are unfounded and malicious and I urge the public to ignore them and focus on things that are much more productive."

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