South Africa recently passed the State Protection of Information Bill which is designed to prevent anyone from stealing its state secrets. According to State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele, “if I am a foreign spy any legislation which makes me work harder won’t be nice for me.” Let me get this straight. The bill won’t prevent spies from getting information they seek, but it will make them “work harder.” If I am a spy working harder means receiving more money and if I have any common sense the harder it is for me to get information, the more money I receive.
Of course, the flip side is protecting state information means that South African citizens can not obtain desired information. Dennis Dlomo of the State Security department insists, “we are not hiding(information) from our fellow South Africans, we are hiding it from those who are trying to harm our national interests.” But, what if your fellow South Africans want information that you claim damages national interests? Of course, every government insists it is protecting national interests.