stories filed under: "egypt"
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Jan 27th 2011 6:37pm
There's been this ongoing back and forth between people like Evgeny Morozov and Clay Shirky over the impact of the internet on political activism. And while I think it's silly and misleading to suggest that these tools are the driving force behind some of the political upheavals we've seen, I find it difficult to believe that they're not a useful tool as a part of the process. And it appears that Egyptian officials agree. Over the past few days, as protests have raged in Egypt, there have been various reports about Twitter and Facebook being blocked, with a new report saying that internet access is being cut off entirely for many and with additional reports suggesting that mobile operators have been ordered to shut off SMS text messaging services. Who knows how effective this is, but it does certainly suggest that the Egyptian government is certainly afraid of how these communication tools are being used.
by Mike Masnick
Tue, Mar 23rd 2010 12:34am
from the can't-route-around dept
Egypt has apparently decided that it doesn't like the idea of people making mobile phone calls that it can't track and/or that the state-owned telco can't make money off of. So it's banning all mobile VoIP calls. Apparently "fixed" VoIP calls are okay, which gets a bit confusing:
"The ban is on Skype on mobile internet, not on fixed, and this is due to the fact it is against the law since it bypasses the legal gateway," said Amr Badawy, the executive president of the National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (NTRA).But what is the difference between the "mobile internet" and the "fixed internet" in real terms? If I use a laptop on a 3G connection... is that fixed or mobile? If I use a mobile phone on a WiFi connection connected to a DSL line, is that fixed or mobile? This just seems like a way to try to boost profits for the state owned telco with arbitrary rules.
Under Egyptian law, international calls must pass through a network controlled by majority state-owned Telecom Egypt, which this week reported disappointing earnings.