Egyptian rumor of the week

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.
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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.