Egypt forced firms to send pro-regime SMS: Vodafone

Last Updated: Friday, February 4, 2011 - 00:05

London: Egyptian authorities have forced
mobile phone operators to broadcast pro-government messages
amid protests engulfing the country, British-based operator
Vodafone said Thursday.

Vodafone condemned the "unacceptable" situation, which
comes after the government cut mobile communications in a bid
to prevent demonstrators from coordinating their protests
earlier in the crisis.

"Under the emergency powers provisions of the Telecoms
Act, the Egyptian authorities can instruct the mobile networks
of Mobinil, Etisalat and Vodafone to send messages to the
people of Egypt," Vodafone said in a statement.

"They have used this since the start of the protests.

These messages are not scripted by any of the mobile network
operators and we do not have the ability to respond to the
authorities on their content," it added.

"Vodafone Group has protested to the authorities that the
current situation regarding these messages is unacceptable. We
have made clear that all messages should be transparent and
clearly attributable to the originator."

Vodafone said last week that all mobile operators in
Egypt had been ordered to suspend services in some areas amid
the protests and they were obliged to comply under Egyptian
law.

Some services have since been restored.

PTI



First Published: Friday, February 4, 2011 - 00:05

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