Egypt just changed its rule banning the sale and use of GPS devices, which had caused among other things the iPhone to be crippled when bought inside the country. The rumored reason for the change: Ahmed Ezz, Gamal Mubarak's right-hand man, imported a luxury vehicle equipped with GPS that customs did not want to release. So he asked his buddy Gamal to change the regulations. I don't think this has any basis in reality, but it shows the kind of thinking around here when this is how some people think such policies (made essentially for military or commercial reasons) are decided. Think about it: if Ahmed Ezz wanted to, he could have just gotten his car in and used the GPS illegally, as many people already do.
The Arabist is published and edited by Issandr El Amrani, a writer and analyst based in Cairo, with contributions by friends.
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