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Intercept: Google deepens its relations with the repressive regime in Egypt

2019-08-19T16:14:26.278Z



Google is preparing to reopen its offices in Egypt after years of freezing after the coup that brought the current President Abdel Fattah El Sisi to power, despite serious human rights violations committed by the Egyptian regime, which affected bloggers, media and human rights activists.

The company announced its intention to open recruitment at its Cairo offices after a meeting of the company's representatives and Egyptian ministers, according to a statement issued by the Egyptian government in June.

The company quoted a company source who asked not to be named to say that the company's office in Cairo will reopen in early September.

The announcement of the reopening of the technology giant's office in Cairo has alarmed human rights organizations who believe a permanent office in Cairo could put it under further pressure from Egyptian authorities with a long history of using technology to monitor dissidents and crack down on bloggers, media and human rights defenders.

"The reopening of Google's office in Egypt while the Egyptian government is asking other Internet companies to provide access to its data is a worrying step," said Katitza Rodriguez, an international freedoms official at E-Front. The company is obliged to respect human rights in accordance with international standards and must disclose the steps it will take to protect those rights.

Intercept: Google has been a haven for Egyptians for a decade under the policy of blocking, restricting and controlling the media (Anatolia)

Smuggled Egyptians
The website pointed out that Google and other foreign technology companies have been a haven for Egyptians for a decade under the policy of blocking, restricting and controlling the media used by the Egyptian authorities.

A Facebook page co-moderated by Google's Middle East marketing director Wael Ghoneim helped fuel the protests that toppled former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, prompting Google's CEO at the time to say that social media platforms changed. The power equation governing the relationship of governments and peoples.

The site quoted an Egyptian blogger as saying that bloggers during the rule of deposed President Hosni Mubarak preferred to create their blogs on Google, because of their confidence in the inability of the authorities to penetrate it, and when the Egyptian authorities cut the Internet at the height of the Egyptian revolution in 2011 enabled Google Egyptians access to Twitter and circumvent the Block the Internet.

Egyptian authorities tighten censorship on social media and arrest activists and bloggers for the content they post on those sites.

A report issued by Amnesty International considered that the Egyptian authorities' repression of activists and bloggers has turned the country into an open prison for regime opponents and critics, and said that Egyptian authorities have arrested dozens of activists, media and social media users in recent years.

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Partnership and Consulting
According to the site, Google has been involved, among other international companies, in advising the Egyptian government on a data protection bill currently under evaluation by lawmakers in the country.

The new bill, the first legislation in Egypt to regulate personal data, was approved by a parliamentary communications committee in March.

The company is also considering a partnership with the Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology in a program called "Skills from Google", a program that provides digital skills training for Arabic-speaking employees, the site quoted a Google spokesman as saying.

Source: aljazeera

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