Vodafone Network Seized by Egyptian Authorities to Spread Propaganda Via Text Message

Vodafone released a statement yesterday confirming that the authorities in Egypt
seized their network to send propaganda text messages to the Egyptian people.

Vodafone released a statement yesterday confirming that the authorities in Egypt
seized their network to send propaganda text messages to the Egyptian people.

Such text messages have been sent since the start of the
protests in an attempt to cool tensions among the protestors who are
demanding that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak step down. According to the statement from Vodafone,
Egyptian authorities utilized the emergency powers provision of the Telecoms
Act in order to demand that Vodafone send the messages that were scripted by
Egyptian authorities.

Vodafone is legally required to send the messages, but they have
expressed concerns that the situation regarding these messages is inappropriate.
Vodafone has made their position clear to the Egyptian government; they believe
that any mass texts sent to the people of Egypt should be honestly attributed
to the government in the name of transparency.

Photos
posted on Flickr
show and translate the text messages which say: The Armed Forces asks Egypt’s
honest and loyal men to confront the traitors and criminals and protect our
people and honor and our precious Egypt.

This is just the latest
incident of Egyptian authorities interfering with communications companies in
order to quell dissent within the nation. Last week, the
government asked Vodafone to cut off their services all together.
This coincided
with Egyptian
ISPs severing ties to the internet
, and action that was widely speculated
to be carried out at the behest of the Egyptian government.

ISPs returned
to service Wednesday
as unexpectedly as they had disappeared, and as of
now, internet traffic appears to back to normal. As far as we can tell,
Egyptian authorities continue to utilize emergency powers to send mass text
messages to the people of Egypt.

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