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Free Expression

CDT Statement on Egypt Shutting Down Internet Access

Washington, DC — Today, the Center for Democracy & Technology released the following statement in response to the news that Egypt had cut Internet access and mobile services throughout the country: 

"In a stunning and highly counterproductive step backwards, Egypt has shut down its mobile phone network, cut off Egyptians' Internet access, and disappeared the country's presence on the Web," said CDT President Leslie Harris.  "This action is inconsistent with all international human rights norms, and is unprecedented in Internet history.  Egypt’s actions will only fuel unrest and make peaceful resolution of grievances far more difficult." 
Director of CDT's Project on Global Internet Freedom Cynthia Wong said:  "Egypt’s actions demonstrate how vulnerable mobile and Internet access companies are to pressure from government to take actions that directly harm human rights.  While we appreciate that some companies involved have acknowledged their role, events unfolding across the region underscore how critical it is for companies operating in these risky environments to have robust strategies to push back on government demands inconsistent with rule of law and respect for human rights."