NOW DAILY WORLD EXCLUSIVE!|
By JOHN CHIMUNHU|
U.S. firm Google Inc. has dismissed claims by the Zimbabwe Sunday Mail editor Edmund Kudzayi that he succesfully hacked into a Gmail account belonging to a mystery blogger opposed to the Robert Mugabe regime.
The detained Kudzayi claimed Friday during a High Court bail hearing that he had hacked into the self-proclaimed Zanu PF whistleblower Baba Jukwa’s Gmail account and uncovered his high-level informants within government and the ruling party. He claimed that his arrest on sedition charges was meant to silence him.
The police maintain that the Baba Jukwa account was never hacked but that Kudzayi created it and had full access to it.
A Google spokesperson told NOW DAILY editor John Chimunhu in an exclusive statement Monday that the company would not comment on Kudzayi’s claims as they amounted to “rumor and speculation”.
“We don’t comment on rumor and speculation,” the Google spokesperson said.
She said it was Google policy not to comment on individual cases relating to Gmail users, but indicated that no serious security breaches had been reported, clearly suggesting that Kudzayi’s information was false.
“When it comes to security, Google goes above and beyond to make sure users’ information is safe, secure and always available. For example, we encrypt email and the search traffic between your computer and Google when you’re signed into Gmail and Google Search. This protection stops others from snooping on your activity while you’re on an open network, like when you use your laptop at a coffee shop. We’ve also encrypted the data that flows between our data centers, and our security experts are continually working to extend and strengthen this protection across more services and links,” the Google spokesperson said.
This contrasts sharply with claims by information minister Jonathan Moyo that the Baba Jukwa account had been hacked and that Google accounts could be hacked as easily as cars on an open highway could be broken into.
Kudzayi claimed to have been hired by Moyo and former youth minister Saviour Kasukuwere to hack into the Baba Jukwa account, for which he says he was paid an undisclosed amount.
“My involvement relates to the hacking of the Baba Jukwa account, wherein I worked with officials from the Ministry of Defence,” Kudzayi said. “I gave two detailed reports to the Baba Jukwa issue. I also did a detailed presentation at the Ministry of Defence which was attended by high-level people including Kembo, Moyo, Herbert Huruva and Professor Jonathan Moyo. I was even paid for these services,” Kudzayi said.
Police have accused Kudzayi of operating the Baba Jukwa account and charged him with terrorism, among other charges. The offence carries a life sentence.
However, Kudzayi claims the police were aware of his clandestine activities.
“The investigations officer knows very well that my involvement in this matter related only to hacking the Baba Jukwa account and the Ministry of Defence officials were also in the picture of my involvement in hacking of the Baba Jukwa Gmail account,” Kudzayi claimed in his affidavit, which was submitted to the High Court.
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