Department confirms set-top boxes will not be encrypted
The communications minister’s policy position is at odds with her predecessor and the ANC’s policy position
The Department of Communications has confirmed that state-sponsored set-top boxes will not be encrypted. This is despite a long-standing ANC policy position that supports encryption. "The current government policy is nonencryption. Thus far, 1.5-million set-top boxes have been ordered and approximately 850,000 were delivered," said Ireen Magwai, who speaks on behalf of Communications Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane. Set-top boxes are needed to decode the digital signal for television sets that do not have digital capabilities. Conditional access and encryption is crucial for pay-TV broadcasters, as it allows them to control who has access to their content. In 2013, the ANC adopted a policy that supported the use of encrypted set-top boxes for digital migration. Kubayi-Ngubane told Parliament recently that her department had requested a legal opinion on the Constitutional Court ruling on the set-top box matter, which was handed down late in 2017. The ruling made it clear that polic...
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