Egypt authorities used network to send propaganda – Vodafone

3 Feb 2011

Vodafone Group has condemned Egypt authorities which used its network to send pro-government texts to its customers.

In a statement, the company pointed out that in Egypt, authorities are allowed instruct the mobile networks of Vodafone, Mobinil and Etisalat to send messages to citizens.

Reports say the texts contain government propaganda. One says “The Armed Forces cares for your safety and well being and will not resort to using force against this great nation.”

Another reportedly read: “the Armed Forces asks Egypt’s honest and loyal men to confront the traitors and criminals and protect our people and honour and our precious Egypt.”

Egypt blocked all mobile networks and internet connections due to protests against its president, Hosni Mubarak.

They recently went back online. Vodafone verified that the government had used its network to send messages to its customers “since the start of the protests.” The company said it has no control over what is sent from the government to citizens.

“These messages are not scripted by any of the mobile network operators and we do not have the ability to respond to the authorities on their content,” said Vodafone.

Vodafone also stated it told authorities that the situation involving these texts is “unacceptable.”

“We have made clear that all messages should be transparent and clearly attributable to the originator,” the company said.