Zimbabwe To Block Cellphone Companies From International Connections

Living in the USA these days, one has to be careful about casting stones regarding governments spying on their citizenry, but here goes. The government of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe says that it will soon require the two private cellphone companies to stop using their own gateways and instead route all international cellphone traffic through the stat-owned operator for “security purposes”. The fixed operator is government owned, and its international gateways are easily tapped. Clearly this government crossed the line with respect to civil liberties long ago: long before it rigged the last election, threw out foreign journalists, evicted landowners, threatened judges, and so on. So let’s skip the invasive wiretap issue and focus on the economics. By forcing the use of the fixed carrier’s gateway, the government also redirects incoming call termination revenues away from the private carriers to the state-run company. So is it about a paranoid dictatorship, or a money grab? This is too complicated. I like my corruption simple.

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