Vodafone sent Mubarak SMS propaganda

Vodafone sent Mubarak SMS propaganda

Summary: Vodafone has admitted that it sent messages to customers across Egypt supporting President Hosni Mubarak under emergency powers ordered from the nation's government.

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Vodafone has admitted that it sent messages to customers across Egypt supporting President Hosni Mubarak under emergency powers ordered from the nation's government.

The UK-based provider issued a statement that authorities had exercised emergency provisions under the Telecoms Act to direct itself and mobile network operators Mobinil and Etisalat to "send messages to the people of Egypt", which attempted to quell the uprising tearing through the nation.

The single pro-Mubarak message was directed at Egypt's youth warning about the threat of "rumours" and that they should listen to the "voice of reason", according to photos of the text posted on Flickr.com and reporters based in the country.

"Egypt's youth. Beware rumours and listen to the voice of reason. Egypt is above all so preserve it," the message read.

Vodafone Egypt said the authorities had used carriers to push propaganda since the protests began on 25 January this year.

"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," Vodafone Egypt said in a statement.

"Vodafone Group has protested to the authorities that the current situation regarding these messages is unacceptable. We have made clear that all messages should be transparent and clearly attributable to the originator."

Associated Press journalists based in the country first reported on the propaganda messages yesterday morning.

News of the Mubarak messages, also sent by the nation's military, has swept through social-networking website Twitter.

"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," the alleged government-issued message read.

Two further messages that were received read: "To every mother-father-sister-brother, to every honest citizen preserve this country as the nation is forever" and "the Armed Forces cares for your safety and well-being and will not resort to using force against this great nation".

Internet services in the country were restored this week after a five-day blackout.

Topics: Government, Government AU, Telcos

Darren Pauli

About Darren Pauli

Darren Pauli has been writing about technology for almost five years, he covers a gamut of news with a special focus on security, keeping readers informed about the world of cyber criminals and the safety measures needed to thwart them.

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