During the uprising, the regime took down the internet from the night of 27 January till 3 February, after blocking websites like Twitter and Facebook on the previous day. The government also took down the mobile phone networks and SMS, with the complicity of the three operators Mobinil, Vodafone Egypt and Etisalat, as well as internet service providers like TE DATA.
The government body that orchestrated the blackout was the National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (NTRA), headed by the former Telecommunication Minister Tarek Kamel (whose brother Cairo University President Hossam Kamel is currently the target of an impeachment campaign by faculty staff and student protesters over his ties to the Mubarak regime), together with representatives from the police, Mukhabarrat and government officials.
|From SS Officers|
Little I managed to find out about the career of General Rushdi Mohamed Sayyed Ahmad el-Qamari, before he became the head of the General Administration of Police Communications in July 2010. But usually heads of such sensitive departments in the interior ministry come from the ranks of State Security Police, especially as he assumed the membership of the NTRA board, sharing seats with the Mukhabarrat.
Essam Sharaf’s cabinet has come out few days ago saying the regime’s shutting down of telecommunications was “inappropriate.” But has anyone been held accountable? What happened to NTRA board members, including General Qamari? Have they been investigated? Do they still keep their posts? Or are we continuing with the musical chairs game?
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