Developments in technology have increased opportunities for state surveillance and interception of individual’s communications.
Surveillance by the state of private communications enables it to collect and store personal data and private information
which can be aggregated to provide intimate and detailed profiles of the targeted individuals, resulting in an invasion of
the concerned individuals’ right to privacy. The right to privacy is a fundamental human right guaranteed in all the major
human rights treaties. The right to privacy is, however, not an absolute right. International law requires that where the
right to privacy is invaded, such must be necessary, legitimate, and proportionate. There is currently an outcry worldwide
that national laws regulating states’ surveillance of private communications are inadequate or non-existent, resulting in
unlawful and arbitrary interference with the right to privacy. This paper examines the legal framework regulating surveillance
by the state of private communications for law enforcement purposes in Botswana with a view determining whether it provides
adequate protection to the right to privacy of the individual.