Potraz dismisses social media blackout reports
THE Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (POTRAZ) yesterday dismissed claims peddled on social media that the regulator would blackout all telecommunications across the country during the day.
The blackout, according to the social media claims, would affect all the network service providers.
The message, which has gone viral on platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp, informs citizens that the blackout from (POTRAZ) would be from 10AM to 2PM.
The false message said the ‘ POTRAZ shutdown’ had been necessitated by the continuous and increased abuse of social media. Said POTRAZ in a statement: “We have noted with concern that there has been an abusive social media message purporting to be coming from POTRAZ on telecommunications blackouts. We would like to inform all stakeholders that this message is not coming from POTRAZ,” read the statement.
“We advise stakeholders and consumers not to circulate this false message as it causes unnecessary inconvenience to users of telecommunications services in Zimbabwe.”
The fake circulating message comes as the Computer Crime and Cyber Crime Bill is expected to be presented to Parliament, which would protect Zimbabweans from cyber terrorists.
The proposed law comes against the backdrop of some Zimbabweans locally and abroad who are using the internet to communicate subversive material which seeks to unconstitutionally remove Government through violence.
According to the proposed law, internet service providers will be compelled to disclose the source of any content that is considered cyber crime, while courts should be able to accept electronic evidence when culprits are arraigned before them.
Reads part of the fake message which circulated yesterday:
“The blackout has been necessitated by the continuous and increased abuse of social media by saboteurs who are threatening to unseat a constitutionally-elected Government. Inconvenience caused to law abiding citizens is sincerely regretted.”
“Citizens are reminded that under the Postal and Telecommunications Act, it is illegal to post abusive messages and incitement to violence risks prison sentence.”
Government recently warned that anyone caught generating or sharing abusive and subversive material on social media would be disconnected from the country’s mobile networks.