MTN's password policy is bad – even for the top network in Iran, Syria and Afghanistan

South Africa's MTN Group "has licences from some very unattractive governments, to which it pays taxes, provides wire-tapping, collects metadata and censors content" (to quote my friend, Ewan Sutherland in his paper on the group). Not only that, it operates under a very unattractive shade of yellow and it is also allowing deductions of R15 per day from a relative's mobile account and not making it possible to cancel the "service". The telephone number that MTN provides (in the text message shown) for the scam factory "does not exist" when you try to dial it, incidentally.

Now, the next desperate step was to attempt to register on their website. The first part was relatively easy but it transpires that to view account details, it is necessary to log onto something called "MTN Acive" for which you are supposed to use the same username and password as for the original site. This failed dismally (it turns out) since the password which I registered does not comply with the password policy for the second site, although it was checked and did for the first. We are now locked out on the second site because we "entered the incorrect password" three times.

Needless to say, the incoming South African president has close links to MTN, about which more can be read at the M&G: Ramaphosa and MTN's offshore stash.

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