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06:40, 26 June 2017 Monday
09:31, 24 July 2013 Wednesday

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Egypt denies restrictions on social media
Egypt denies restrictions on social media

A source at the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology said his ministry had nothing to do with controlling Internet content.

World Bulletin / News Desk

An Egyptian official on Tuesday denied any intention to restrict access to social-networking websites.

"We have not received any government decision regarding the work of social-networking websites in Egypt," Hisham al-Alayeli, acting chairman of the National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority, told the Anadolu Agency.

Egypt has been in turmoil since the powerful army deposed Mohammed Morsi, the country's first democratically elected president, suspended the constitution and installed the head of the constitutional court as interim president.

Morsi supporters have since taken to the streets nationwide in mass demonstrations and sit-ins to defend his democratic legitimacy and demand his reinstatement.

At least 189 people, both civilians and security personnel, have been killed – and thousands wounded – in political violence in Egypt since June 30.

Both supporters and opponents of the ousted president have turned to social-media websites such as Facebook and Twitter to make their case.

But Ahmed Meslimani, media adviser to interim President Adly Mansour, warned that wrangling on the internet posed a risk to Egypt's future.

"Some people mistakenly believe that the battlefields are limited to the Internet and smear campaigns against the people's will and the army," he argued. "Such unethical campaigns only distract people from achieving Egypt's civilization project."

His remarks raised concerns about a possible government crackdown on the use of social-media websites in Egypt.

A source at the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology said his ministry had nothing to do with controlling Internet content.

"But censorship and restrictions on social-networking websites might be imposed by other parties," he said.

Egypt cut off all Internet and cellphone services during the popular revolution that led to the 2011 ouster of Hosni Mubarak, who ruled the country with an iron fist for nearly 30 years.



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