Rights group sues minister, NTRA over new restrictions on SMS messaging

A lawsuit was filed on Wednesday by the Cairo-based Arab Center for the Independence of the Judiciary (ACIJ) against new restrictions placed on SMS messaging services announced earlier this week by the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA).

Both Minister of Communications and Information Technology Tarek Kamel and NTRA Executive President Amr Badawi are named as defendants in the lawsuit.

As of next Monday, private media institutions and civil society organizations must obtain government permission to send SMS news alerts out to service subscribers.

The new regulations have been met with national and international condemnation, with the ACIJ asserting in its lawsuit that the move was both illegal and in contravention of Egypt's international commitments to civil and political rights.

The center also claims the decision contravenes Council of State Law No. 47 regarding freedom of speech and opinion.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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