2-year anniversary of internet blackout to undermine anti-govt. protests in Egypt: Access calls for stronger action by tech sector's "Industry Dialogue on Freedom of Expression and Privacy"

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28 January 2013

Telcos called to account for inaction on anniversary of Egypt blackout

Author: Jeff Landale, Access

Yesterday marked the two-year anniversary of the internet and mobile network blackout designed to undermine the anti-government protests in Egypt. This event catapulted the issue of telecoms and human rights onto the international stage. To mark this anniversary, Access has sent a letter to the telecommunication sector’s Industry Dialogue on Freedom of Expression and Privacy, an industry working group that arose in the aftermath of the incident. The letter addresses the failure of the major telecoms involved to provide principled guidance to the industry and issues a statement of expectations to governments that would request restrictions on user rights. [members of the dialogue are: Alcatel-Lucent, AT&T, BT, France Telecom-Orange, Millicom, Nokia Siemens Networks, Tele2, Telefonica, TeliaSonera, Telenor, and Vodafone]

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28 January 2013

Vodafone under fire over unmet Egypt pledges

Author: Katherine Rushton, Telegraph [UK]

"Whether they are rightly or wrongly accused of complicity in what are often government-led persecutions, [mobile operators] lack a consistent, industry-wide approach to the immense pressures they face in many different regions.” [wrote Access director Brett Solomon in a letter to telco companies]...A Vodafone spokesman said: “We agree with Access but the difficulty is coming up with a workable solution. These are complicated issues because governments have different approaches to licensing regimes, and the balance between public information [and safety on the one hand] and freedom of communication and civil rights.”

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