Egypt: Police Asks For Information about visitors of ‘Political Websites’

After detaining more than 100 blogger in 2008 alone, Egypt is now using a new technique in controlling the internet freedom, as police officers asked an internet café owner to spy on his customers.

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) said that state, few days ago, security officers forced an owner of numerous internet cafes in Egypt to inform police officers with the name and ID number of those customers who browse “political” websites.

ANHRI released a detailed statement reporting that security forces raided an Internet cafe in Cairo and asked for the visitors’ registration book with all details on visitors activities from the beginning of the café's work, the statement adds:

When the owner of the place told police that there are no books; they had taken his ID card and the license of the café. Moreover they confiscated the equipments of internet service, and took him along to the Security Directorate in Giza. There he was forced to sign a minute charging him of practicing ‘an activity without a license

This act has roots since 2005, as reportedly the state security officers forced the owners of Internet cafes to register the names and identity numbers of those who visit the cafes frequently. Usually the officials don't deny such an act, meanwhile there is no law or governmental decision for that.

Good to note that there is a big number of internet café all over Egypt, where people can access the web for entertainment, research and blogging; especially that internet prices are really cheap (1EGP=20cent/Hour).

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