Africa found wanting on cyber crime preparedness

Africa found

2019 KnowBe4 African
Cyber Security Report.

Friday, Dec 13th

Botswana to use cellphone jammers in prisons

Botswana to use cellphone jammers in prisons.

Botswana’s defence and justice minister intends to purchase cellphone jammers to trace handsets smuggled into prisons.

Cellphone jammers are used to prevent mobile phones from receiving signals from base stations.

Minister Ramadeluka Seretse has said the equipment would track mobile calls made by handsets smuggled into prisons, usually used by inmates in crime scheming activities and harassing witnesses outside prisons.

The development; however, comes against Botswana's Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) standing on the use of phone jammers.

“We can’t just sit and do nothing when prisoners themselves smuggle phones inside prisons and we are told the phone jammers are illegal,” said Seretse.

“This is not the first incident there are instances where phones are intercepted but there is nowhere in the law that clearly explains that phones should not be intercepted,” he added.

Seretse has proposed a budget of P20 million that will be used for prisons computerisation.

Botswana's commissioner of prisons colonel Silas Setlalekgosi has also defended the purchase of phone jammers.

“We are looking at the bigger picture because we can’t just allow people to run illegal businesses inside prisons. It’s a fact there is a worrying trend where kingpins opt to run their business behind bars,” said Setlalekgosi.

Last year, BOCRA advised the nation to seek type approval of communication equipment companies and citizens before importing equipment for use.

The authority has the final endorsement on radio communication and telecoms equipment such as radar systems, two way radio, satellite communication equipment and radio transmitter equipment.


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