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Arabeyes: Internet War Continues in Egypt

After harassing, questioning and detaining bloggers, the war on the Internet continues in Egypt, this time attacking where it hurts most – the pocket!
This is how Egyptian bloggers react to the hike in prices, which will be introduced in September.

Mohammed Al Jaberi writes:

الحكاية باختصار إن من أول سبتمبر هيكون وقت النت المسموح بيه ستين ساعة في الشهر بمعني ساعتين في اليوم أو تحميل اتنين جيجا في الشهر .. متخيل ؟
والتمن هيبدأ من 45 جنيه واللي عاوز يزود عدد الساعات هيدفع أكتر وهتكون المحاسبة بصورة خيالية بدل العشرين أو الخمسة وعشرين اللي بندفعهم وكل شقة هيكون ليها خط مستقل وتخيل يعني الموقف
..
فيه حملة لإرسال خطابات للاعتراض علي اعتماد النظام ده – اتكتبت خلاص وهتلاقيها في اللينك الجاي – خطابك انت ممكن يعمل إسهام . مش عاوز أقول كلام خطابة لكن بالمنطق معني إنك مابترسلش إنك بتبتر جزء من قوتنا وإنك بتضيع حقك اللي بيصب في الآخر في خانة حقوقنا .. اللي هي كالعادة بيحاولوا يسلبوها مننا
The story in short is that from September 1, Internet users will be allowed 60 hours per month. This means two hours per day or downloading 2 gegas..Can you imagine this? The price will begin from 45 Pounds and whoever wants more hours, will have to pay more. Accounting for the costs will be at an unimagined scale in comparison to the 20 or 25 Pounds we now pay. Every apartment will have to have its own dedicated line and you can imagine what that will mean…
There is a campaign to send letters of protest against this system. The letters have been written and are ready and can be accessed following the link below. Your letter may make a difference. I don't want to give speeches but logically speaking, if you don't send the letter it means that you are sapping away our energy and relinquishing your rights and thereby our rights.. which they are as usual trying to rip away from us.

He also urges his readers to plead their cases on this site, in which Bunduqa is spearheading a campaign to write one million letters in protest against the new service. About the campaign, Bunduqa says:

حمله المليون خطاب
انا لقيت موضوع في منتدى عن اننا نبعت مليون خطاب – رسالة يعني – لاكبر قدر من الجهات المسؤولة و الغير مسؤولة … و العامة و الخاصة عشان الموضوع ده …
و يا جماعة بجد لازم نكون ايجابيين عشان كدا استهبال بغباء … دي رسالة مش هتتعبك يعني … و مش هتاخد اي مجهود …
و بالله عليكوا مش عاوز يطلعلي واحد يقولي ده ممنوش فايده و احنا مش بادينا حاجة … و كل ده مش هيعمل حاجة …. احنا هنبعت لكذا جهة يعني ان شاء الله يكون في نتيجة …
حاول يمكن ينفع ..
The One Million Letter Campaign:
I found this article in a forum for us to send a million letters to the largest number of officials and non-officials..members of the public as well.. to rally support for this issue..
Seriously, we should be positive..because they are taking us as being stupid..this is a letter which will not tire you… and won't take any effort…I don't want any of you to return to me saying that it is useless and there is nothing in our hands… and that all this will not solve the problem… We will be writing to a lot of people.. and hopefully there will be a result…
Try. It might work out…

Following is an excerpt from the letter:

نحن جميعا مقدرين لسبب هذه المبادرة وذلك لردع ال
internet connection sharing
ومن يستغلون الانترنت للكسب غير المشروع من خلال توصيل الشبكات الى
المنازل المجاورة عبر الشبكات السلكية واللا سلكية
ولكن سيدي انتم هكذا لستم فقط ستردعون هؤلاء الفئة ولكنم ستردعون جميع المستخدمين امثالنا من هما متتضرين من تلك المبادرة
بالعكس قرراكم هذا فيه مصلحة شخصية لمن يسموا بكبار موئسسي تلك الشبكات ال internet connection sharing
حيث انهم سيتجهون للانترنت بسرعه 2 ميجا وستزيد نسبة توزيعهم وشبكاتهم
ناسف للاطالة ولكن مانطلبه هو الابقاء علي unlimited internet packages
حفظا لحقوقنا بالتمتع بخدمات الانترنت ومسايرة العصر ومواكبة تطوراته و بالاضافة الي طرح تلك المبادرة وذلك توجها لتلك الفئة من هم من مستخدمي الشبكات المحظور انشاءها وهم بكل تاكيد سيجدون في تلك الباقة مايسرهم لانها افضل بكثير لهم من استخدام الشبكات هذه بما لها من عيوب جمة
نرجو سرعه التوضيح وتعديل القرار
We all appreciate the reason for the introduction of this system and that is to deter Internet connection sharing and those who abuse the Internet for illegal gain by linking networks to nearby homes through wired and wireless connections. But Sir, by this new system you will be deterring all Internet users like ourselves who will be suffering from the introduction of new tariffs. On the contrary, your new system will be of benefit to the investors who have established the Internet connection sharing as they will resort to using the 2 mega speed Internet and will thereby increase their networks. What we demand is restoring the unlimited Internet packages to ensure our rights to have access to the Internet and keep up with development. What you should do is combat those who use the Internet illegally. We are looking for a quick clarification (from authorities) and an amendment to this decision.

A similar situation was reported in Bahrain in June last year. Boycott Batelco, a site developed in the wake of the hike in prices, still continues.

2 comments

  • That’s appalling. The egyptian regime feels confident enough and supported enough from the West to try everything possible to stifle free speech in Egypt. It’s unbearable. I guess Mubarak and his family have full 24/7 access to internet. Will this stop one day?

  • […] Tag – im Internet verbringt; jede extra-Stunde koste mehr, wie in den ägyptischen Blogs, die Amira Al Hussaini auf Global Voices zusammengetragen hat, zu lesen ist. Auffallend ist, dass diese Regelung – […]

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