Egypt court rules against restrictions on SMS messaging

An Egyptian court on Saturday ruled against a decision by the government to tighten monitoring of mobile phone SMS messaging.

The ruling deals a blow to efforts by the government to suppress freedoms and political activism in the lead-up to Sunday’s parliamentary elections.

The ruling by the Supreme Administrative Court canceled a decision by the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) requiring monitoring of the content of news sent via SMS messaging.

Further, the court said media organizations planning to provide SMS news services do not have to obtain any permits from the NTRA or any other bodies.

The court ruled that these restrictions will hamper freedom of expression and constitute an unjustified intervention in SMS messaging services, in violation of the Constitution which safeguards freedom of speech.

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