Britain threatens to shut down social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter, or banning suspected “rioters” from using them.
In New York, the “NYPD has formed a new unit to track troublemakers who announce plans or brag about their crimes on Twitter, MySpace and Facebook.”
While in California:
A rail transit provider in the United States disabled mobile phone services to prevent a planned protest on Thursday, attracting criticism and unflattering comparisons to crackdowns on dissent in the Middle East.
Demonstrators in northern California’s Bay Area had planned a protest to condemn the shooting death of Charles Hill, who was killed on July 3 after Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) police officers responded to complaints about a drunk man at a station in the city of San Francisco.
Mubarak and Adly are indeed an inspiration to their counterparts in the West.
“We didn’t have this revolution to replace Mubarak with the military as a taboo”
Hossam el-Hamalawy is used to being in trouble with the authorities. State security hauled him in three times for his activism when Hosni Mubarak was in power. He hoped Egypt’s uprising would end such summonses. It didn’t.
He was called in again in May for questioning. But one element changed. It wasn’t internal security but an army general who wanted to question the blogger over accusations he made on television about abuses by the military police.
“We didn’t have this revolution … so that we would replace Hosni Mubarak with the military as a taboo,” said Hamalawy, insisting that the army must change its ways.
“The military institution is part of the old regime,” he said. “It will have to go through its own change in revolutionary Egypt.”
Quite what that change might look like is perhaps the biggest question facing Egyptians now.
The army has vowed to hand power to civilians, after it took took control when Mubarak was ousted on Feb. 11.
Few doubt it wants to quit the grimy world of day-to-day government but, at the same time, few expect the generals to submit to civilian command when they return to barracks.
Instead, analysts say the military is likely to slip into the political shadows, as a protector of national security — a broad brief that would allow some back-seat intervention — and rigorously guard its business interests and other privileges.
The military has after all supplied Egypt’s rulers, including former air force commander Mubarak, for six decades.
“I do feel they are sincere about handing over power to a civilian government,” said Hamalawy, who writes the arabawy.org blog. “But that does not mean they will give up … their role in the Egypt political arena.”
After summons for interrogation prompted protests, Hamalawy said the general who quizzed him on May 31 promised to examine evidence he provided of any abuses by the military police.