Egyptian gov’t blocks opposition web site ahead of telecom conference

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Egypt’s leading opposition movement, Kefaya’s (Enough), web site has been blocked by the government-controlled T-Data internet provider. The nation’s largest web company has been under direct control by Cairo since 4 May.

On 4 May, thousands of Egyptians, using the internet as a main source of communication, called for a general strike to coincide with President Hosni Mubarak’s 80th birthday.

The strike failed as Mubarak had announced only days before that he would raise government workers’ salaries.

The opposition called for demonstrations in the face of rising costs of living and low wages.

The blocking of the web site came at a surprising moment for the Egyptian government, who is hosting the largest telecommunications conference in Africa, the Africa telecoms conference.

“The web site is performing normally with other ISP companies, but the technical supervisor of the web site informed us the T-Data Co. blocked” the Kefaya web site through its IP address, Samir Gad, the editor-in-chief of the site, said.

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (HRinfo) condemned the ban of the web site, saying it infringed on freedom of speech.

“Blocking the Kefaya web site from the T-Data ISP clients is a ridiculous decision,” said Mohamed Ragab, director to the technical unit at HRinfo, in a statement from the pan-Arab freedom organisation.

This is “not any more practiced but by the most dictatorial governments in the world. The internet users will use the proxy so as to overcome this blockage,” he added. Panapress .

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