Government to amend law on communications

A national security committee will be charged with examining amendments to Law 10/2003 on communications, particularly the articles which give security authorities the right to cut communications off, informed sources at the National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (NTRA) have said.

Al-Masry Al-Youm, however, has learned that the suggested amendments were not added to the agenda of the NTRA board meeting last week. For the first time, the meeting was chaired by Minister of Communications Mohamed Salem.

Members of the board of directors said they have no idea what the proposed amendments to the law are, but that the initial intention was to amend only the article on the right to cut off communications – yet 15 articles are now likely to be amended.

Abdel Rahman al-Sawy, a rapporteur working on behalf of the NTRA's industry committee, said the committee proposed amendments to 10 articles several months ago but he does not know the fate of these proposals. He added that he does not have knowledge of the exact articles the ministry currently wants to amend.

Security authorities imposed a communications blackout during the 25 January revolution.

Hosni Mubarak and two former officials were fined LE540 million in May for cutting off mobile and internet services during the protests. The then-president and his aides acted within the law when they cut off communications, but the administrative court fined them for the resulting damage to the national economy.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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