Admin of Facebook page arrested after publishing documents on VoIP services block

A Facebook page critical of telecommunication companies and state communication policies announced on Friday that one of its administrators was arrested from his home Friday at dawn by National Security forces.

The arrest came after the Internet Revolution Egypt page published documents detailing former government discussions on the blocking and surveillance of VoIP services, which allow users to make voice and video calls over the internet, in Egypt.

The page, which has over one million followers, did not reveal any additional details on the arrest.

Hours before the arrest, the page had published alleged leaked documents from The National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) revealing plans to block VoIP calls.

One of the documents is presented as a study by the NTRA suggesting that telecommunication companies be required to give it access to VoIP services and allow it to regulate and block them.

Other published documents are allegedly notes from meetings held at the NTRA denoting the difficulty of controlling VPN services and proxies used to get around the block. The documents also include a case study of the United Arab Emirates, which has successfully blocked VoIP calls services on most phone applications by making using VPN without alerting telecom companies illegal.

Users of several phone applications in Egypt such as Signal and FaceTime have reported in recent months that these services were no longer operational. The developing company of “Signal” confirmed that the Egyptian government was able to intercept and freeze the service, before the company was able to recover it.


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