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Cynthia Wong, a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch, said Vodafone experienced "a hard lesson" in Egypt. "Even if the government is the ultimate problem, they realized they needed to take steps to mitigate harm to their users," she said.
On the streets of Cairo, citizens interviewed Saturday said they assumed every Egyptian regime sought to spy on them, particularly Mubarak’s successors.
"Mubarak underestimated social media and the youth," market researcher Iman Fouad, 26, said as he sipped a lunchtime coffee. He said many Egyptians assumed that security services monitored messages on Facebook and Twitter.
"In Egypt and most of the Arab countries, where they have this obsession with security and knowing what everyone is up to, I can believe it. They are afraid of another revolution," Fouad said.
A 54-year-old engineer, Ahmed Tarshouby, said the best policy for any telephone user was to talk without fear.
"I talk as I want. I insult as I want," Tarshouby said as he sat on a sidewalk, smoking a shisha pipe. "I don’t have any problem with them monitoring. I would say anything. I have no secrets."
Associated Press reporters Danica Kirka and Raphael Satter in London, Shawn Pogatchnik in Dublin, Katy Daigle in New Delhi and Laura Dean in Cairo contributed to this report.
Vodafone report, http://bit.ly/1kFYNZS
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