Pretoria - The amaBhungane Centre of Investigative Journalism argued through its counsel on Tuesday at the High Court in Pretoria that the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act (RICA) lacks necessary safeguards to protect the public's right to privacy and argued that some of its sections should be declared invalid.
This comes after amaBhungane launched an application when they learned that one of their investigative journalists, Sam Sole, had been the target of state surveillance under RICA, while investigating the decision by the National Prosecuting Authority to drop corruption charges against former President Jacob Zuma.
Advocate Steven Budlender, for amaBhungane, said under the current regulations, journalists and their sources were not protected.
"Rica has no provision for who is allowed to access your private data once it has been intercepted, how it is stored or how your unrelated private conversations with your family, for example, are dealt with," Budlender said.
Budlender said there should be proper regulations of the State's bulk surveillance architecture, saying it is wide open to abuse.