RICA Deadline Looming

We have spoken in the past about RICA, and well, the time has come. You really should have RICA’d by now. The process is pretty easy – just take your SIM Card (regardless if its a cellphone number or a 3G card), proof of address and ID with you to your preferred cellular provider. You dont have to go your own network, in fact many retailers are also taking part in the initiative. The whole process takes about 5 minutes at most, and it will prevent you from getting your number cut off on the 1st of July. Just a friendly reminder from us…
Find attached the statement from the Department of Communications.

The Department of Communications appeals to all South African citizens to register their SIM cards whether they are cellular, data or other SIM cards used for mobile devices.
The Regulation of Interception of Communications Act (RICA) provides for the lawful interception of communications, such as voice and data conversations between persons including phone calls, emails and postal services. This Act is in the interest of the individual‘s right to privacy and can only be done after authorisation by a judge who is specially designated to carry out this role or function. RICA is applicable to both prepaid and contract subscribers and it is obligatory for all cell phone and other data users to comply.
The Department of Communications calls for all SIM card users to go to their mobile service providers with their proof of residence and Identity Documents (IDs) before or on 30 June 2011 for registration.
“œFailure to comply with the deadline will result in SIMs being locked. Those who have not registered will not be able to make or receive calls and will not be able to send SMSes or use data,“ states the Deputy Minister of Communications, Mr Obed Bapela.
Issued by: Department of Communications
13 Jun 2011

  1. I was “magically” RICA’d sometime between a flurry of smses and calls telling me to RICA or else. Last week I bit the bullet, got my doc’s in order and went to go RICA only to hear the nice lady behind the counter say I have already been RICA’d when asking her when this was done she wasn’t sure. I am an MTN Customer. I tweeted this last week, http://twitter.com/#!/TyronBache/status/83829979577716736, and MTNSouthAfrica replied but they still haven’t given me any feed back.

  2. What is the purpose of RICA? Govt says it is to “prevent crime” but that is obviously not the case. Someone that wants to commit a crime can very easily commit fraud to obtain a RICAd SIM, or (much easier) steal someone else’s phone.
    I don’t understand how over 90% of our population was stupid enough to comply with this silly new legislation. Going out of your way to RICA register does not benefit you in any way whatsoever. In terms of game theory alone it makes no sense for anyone to RICA, yet 90% of phones apparently are by now.
    Most people I’ve argued with over this tell me “You have to RICA, it is the law.”. Really? So, when it was illegal for black people to vote, that was OK because it was the law? Saying that just confirms that you are a moron. Using the “You have to (or can’t) X because it is the law” argument immediately disqualifies you from intelligent conversation. If nobody complied, nobody would have had to comply.
    By RICA registering, this is what you are doing:
    . Creating incentive for criminals to steal your phone.
    . Placing your personal details on yet another database (trusting the ZA government to keep it safe).
    . Inconveniencing international guests.

    1. They don’t have enough staff and you are probably not interesting enough 😛
      Govt tracking me is the least of my worries.

  3. RICA law completely useless & zero percent enforceable.
    Benefits to law-abiding user:
    1. none
    Sacrifice made by law abiding user:
    1. divulgence of his/her private information to a non-secure tuckshop counter assistant
    2. running around for proof of address or affidavit
    3. government now knows exact gps co-ordinates of your location 24/7 at a push of their button
    Benefits to criminals:
    1. No need to RICA
    2. Increased crime-rate as they target legitimate cellphone users to use their phones
    3. Criminal doesn’t get prosecuted for the illegal acts done with your phone. YOU DO!!
    Sacrifice made by criminal:
    1: None

    1. Sounds like you should write a blog post on BWTH blog “How to bypass RICA!” 

  4. I think many of the comments here tend to focus on the negative aspects of RICA. As one of the many people in SA who has had (more than one) family members murdered in farm murders, the resulting recordings of the phone calls between the criminals on the day of the murder was one of the final pieces of evidence to put the guys behind bars. Yes the cellphone companies keep records of every phone call on their networks, even years later…
    Yes, we are handing over more info to big brother. But the potential to track criminals greatly enhances law enforcement.
    I have nothing to hide – and I am pretty sure the government has enough info on me already…

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