International instruments such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948, the International Covenant on civil and Political Rights 1966 and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights 1981 require any limitation of the right to privacy of communication in any media including mobile communication networks to be backed by a general law that observes the principle of legality, necessity and proportionality. In a similar vein, article 16 reads together with article 30 of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania, 1977 requires the enacted laws to stipulate procedures, circumstances, manner and the extent this right can be restricted. Tanzania does not have a stand-alone law that regulates privacy. As such, the protection of privacy in mobile communication is left to the sector-specific laws whose primary purpose for their enactment was other than protecting users’ communication privacy. The analysis of the laws in Tanzania and international legal instruments has shown that, in absence of a robust and stand-alone law to safeguard privacy, interception of mobile communication under the sector-specific legislation(s) will continue to pose a threat to the right to privacy.
Mobile Communication, Privacy of Communication, Interception of Communication