Carl Bildt about Egypt and the Ban on Internet

January 28th, 2011   Articles

Foreign Minister Carl Bildt comments on the developments in Egypt, where Internet and social media have been closed down. “I have not found any earlier example that the same thing has happened, only in Burma in 2007.” He is worried that the ban might lead to a “long-term suspension.”

“During the night, the developments in Egypt took a new turn as the authorities shut down the Internet, to an extent that is almost unique. I have not found any other example of this happening, only in Burma in 2007. Egypt’s future path cannot be found by closing down the Internet – on the contrary, it has to be formed by opening up the political system. I have previously mentioned the critical importance of the presidential elections in September this year. To shut down the Internet, in a situation like the one in today’s Egypt, might be utterly dangerous. Freedom of information is in the long run far better for confidence and stability than restrictions and prohibitions. Measures, such as closing of the Internet, aimed at short-term stability, might generate a more long-term suspension.”

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