Facilities are among the best in sub-Saharan Africa. High-capacity microwave radio relay connects most larger towns and cities. Several cellular telephone services are in operation and network coverage is improving. A domestic satellite system is being installed to improve telephone service in rural areas. Very small aperture terminal (VSAT) networks are operated by private firms.
Internet access is not restricted and individuals and groups freely express their views via the Internet, however the government frequently threatens to deregister critical online publications and blogs. In October 2012 the government attempted to deregister the blog Zambian Watchdog, but was unsuccessful because the blog was hosted abroad and therefore outside government control.
The constitution and law provide for freedom of speech and press, however the government uses provisions contained in the law to restrict these freedoms. The government is sensitive to opposition and other criticism and has been quick to prosecute critics using the legal pretext that they had incited public disorder. Libel laws are used to suppress free speech and the press.
The constitution and law prohibit arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home, or correspondence, but the government frequently does not respect these prohibitions. The law requires a search or arrest warrant before police may enter a home, except during a state of emergency or when police suspect a person has committed an offense such as treason, sedition, defamation of the president, or unlawful assembly. Police routinely enter homes without a warrant. The law grants the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC), the Zambia Security Intelligence Service (ZSIS), and police authority to monitor communications using wiretaps with a warrant issued on the basis of probable cause, and authorities generally respect this requirement.