Egypt cuts off unregisted mobiles Egypt asks mobile firms to bar anonymous users | Technology | Reuters

Egypt is now moving in the direction of much more repressive regimes, wanting to control all communications:



CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt has asked mobile phone companies to block service to anonymous subscribers as a public security measure, and at least two firms have begun efforts to comply, Egyptian officials and mobile firms said on Monday.


The move comes as Egypt tries to combat a wave of public discontent over rising prices and low wages that have sparked a series of labor and anti-government strikes, organized largely by mobile phone and over the Internet.


The move is expected to affect several hundred thousand customers who did not register their names and addresses when they acquired phone lines -- still a small portion of overall subscribers in the most populous Arab country.


"Everyone who uses the telephone must be known," Trade Minister Rachid Mohamed Rachid told a news conference, adding that the move was needed for "public security."



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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.