Despite resistance by Zimbabwean Internet Service Providers to the passage in July of the country's Interception of Communications Act allowing officials to eavesdrop on telephone and Internet traffic and read mail, some ISPs have begun to install the equipment and software needed to let the state to monitor communications.
Providers were reluctant to speak with VOA about complying with the legislation, which also drew stiff opposition from civil society organizations. The firms were concerned about the cost of the equipment as well as the intrusion into customer privacy.
But three main ISPs are now installing equipment to facilitate state snooping. They are Econet’s Ecoweb, TelOne’s ComOne, and Telecontract’s Telconet.
Chairman Shadreck Nkala of the Zimbabwe Internet Access Providers Association, to which all three companies belong, told reporter Ndimyake Mwakalyelye of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that they have no choice as the act is now the law.