'ConCourt surveillance ruling protects South Africans' privacy and dignity'
The Constitutional Court has dealt another blow to "spook" operations in the country.
It's declared that parts of our Rica (Regulation of Interception of Communication Act) legislation are unconstitutional.
The ConCourt ruling confirms orders made by the high court in September.
It's the result of an application brought by the amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism and managing partner Sam Sole.
They challenged the provisions around Rica after receiving information that Sole had been under surveillance.
On The Money Show, Bruce Whitfield interviews amaBhungane advocacy co-ordinator Cherese Thakur.
She says there were two major concerns amaBhungane took to the Constitutional Court.
The first was the bulk surveillance intercepting and monitoring any communication that went out of South Africa... This was monitoring for things like key words, specific email addresses or locations...Cherese Thakur, Advocacy co-ordinator - amaBhungane
This affected everyone and the effect of this judgment is to declare the practice of bulk surveillance unlawful.Cherese Thakur, Advocacy co-ordinator - amaBhungane
AmaBhungane's second main concern was that there is no post-surveillance notification - an issue that affected Sam Sole personally.
Of course Rica permits surveillance for certain legitimate purposes like investigating crime.... Our concerns related to insufficient safeguards like whether you were notified after surveillance happened.Cherese Thakur, Advocacy co-ordinator - amaBhungane
Sam Sole was not notified that he was being watched and his communications were being intercepted.Cherese Thakur, Advocacy co-ordinator - amaBhungane
The ConCourt decision means that someone would have to be informed of surveillance after the fact which in turn means that person could bring a challenge to court.
The role of designated judges was also addressed in the ruling.
They are the ones who decide whether surveillance is permissible based on the supplied information.
Judges have to be impartial but there also have to be built-in mechanisms that ensure that impartiality, and this was lacking in Rica.Cherese Thakur, Advocacy co-ordinator - amaBhungane
The ruling is momentous in that it says this needs to change when the amendments to Rica to bring it in line with the Constitution are eventually passed, which needs to happen within three years.Cherese Thakur, Advocacy co-ordinator - amaBhungane
Listen to the complete conversation below:
Source : https://www.123rf.com/photo_54110931_young-scared-man-in-room-under-cctv-camera-control.html?term=cctv%2Bfear&vti=ncq5ktvdqs5cyegqhn-1-52