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Security will not be able to cut telecom again, no electronic voting: Telecom Minister

Telecom minister says the new telecom law takes away security authorities' prerogative to control telecom in time of crises

Adel Allakany , Wednesday 13 Jul 2011
Maged Osman
Egypt's Telecommunications Minister Maged Osman
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Egypt’s National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) presented new draft amendments to the telecommunications law, according Maged Osman, minister of communications and information technology.

The draft was prepared through wide community participation within which proposals and ideas were submitted to NTRA’s website over a period of almost two months.

Osman explained that the new draft took into account the demands of society, especially in clauses detailing management of telecommunications in times of emergencies and national crises.

Clauses “…enabling [security] authorities to cut off communication and internet services were replaced so as to grant other concerned parties the right to manage communication networks in the event of disasters or emergencies such as epidemics or earthquakes,” the minister explained.

Osman indicated that new clauses were added to the draft amendments which regulate the convergence between telecommunications and digital multimedia content. Other new clauses deal with new technologies and market regulation.

The final version of draft will be discussed later in a broad communal dialogue.

No Electronic Voting

The minister dismissed the possibility of utilizing electronic voting through the internet in the upcoming elections. “It has been proven worldwide that there is a high risk of security compromises using such method in elections”

“Also candidates and supervisory bodies will not be able to dispute election results in court since there will be no printed forms to be recounted,” the minister added.

Osman explained that the Egyptian government cannot take the risk of applying electronic voting as it wants to ensure the maximum efficiency of the model used in elections.

Mobinil Boycott

As for the boycott campaigns against Mobinil services, the minister explained that neither the NTRA nor the ministry of communication can prevent such campaigns. He explained that the issue is left to Naguib Sawiris and Mobinil to resolve using media campaigns and publicity tools.

Coptic Business Mogul, Naguib Sawiris put himself in hot water by posting the picture of popular cartoon characters Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse with an Islamic beard and dressed in a niqab, respectively, on his Twitter account.

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