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April 20, 2011

Egyptian Cabinet Assures Amendments to Restrictive Communication Laws
By Mini Swamy
TMCnet Contributor

During the Egyptian Revolution (News - Alert), Service providers and mobile operators discontinued services to the public, leaving many people stranded. The action, taken by the old government in accordance with article no. 67, has been declared unconstitutional by the current Egyptian Cabinet of Ministers.



Article no. 67 stipulated that proper authorities could terminate services when they felt it could jeopardize the national security of the country.

The Cabinet of Ministers described the action taken by the previous regime as inappropriate and promised to review the law. The Cabinet said that the process of amending the article would follow guidelines enacted by democratic and transparent countries across the world.

The Cabinet categorically stated that on no account would the amended article curb either the rights or freedom of the individual and added that it would ensure the safety of Egyptian citizens and recognize their right to information.

Commenting on the announcement, Dr. Magued Osman, Egypt's Minister of Communications and Information Technology, said in a press release, "The communications and Internet cut will not happen again in the future as the ministry is currently preparing a law draft to amend some of the articles of the telecommunications law no. 10, and especially article no. 67 to prohibit any entity from unilaterally cutting communications and Internet."

The Cabinet lauded the contributions of the Egyptian ICT sector since 1999 and the programs and initiatives launched in order to increase the number of Internet users to more than 22 million.

NTR, or The National Telecommunications Regulation Agency, is currently reviewing the article and will suggest suitable amendments in the near future.


Mini Swamy is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

 






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