Egypt government imposes SMS rules

Independent media outlets told they must obtain a licence from authorities before sending news alerts.

Egypt imposes SMS rules ahead of parliamentary elections

With a month and a half to go before Egyptians vote for a new parliament, the government has imposed new restrictions on media outlets and mobile phone service providers.

On Monday, the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority informed private media institutions, including major newspapers, that they must now obtain a licence from the Ministry of Information and Supreme Press Council before sending news alerts to users.

Critics say the government is trying to clampdown on mass communication – Egypt has some 60 million mobile phone users – to prevent people from mobilising and coordinating during November’s election.

Al Jazeera’s Hoda Hamid reports from Cairo.

Source: Al Jazeera