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Egyptians fear return of surveillance state

The release of recordings of telephone conversations among Egyptian activists has sparked a new debate over media freedom and privacy.
A piece of equipment is seen on the floor at Former National Security Agency (NSA) listening station at the Teufelsberg hill (German for Devil's Mountain) in Berlin, June 30, 2013. The United States taps half a billion phone calls, emails and text messages in Germany in a typical month and has classed its biggest European ally as a target similar to China, according to secret U.S. documents quoted by a German newsmagazine. The revelations of alleged U.S. surveillance programmes based on documents taken by f
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The recordings released by Egyptian journalist Abdel Rahim Ali about some activists and politicians — including activist Asmaa Mahfouz, the founder of the April 6 Youth Movement Ahmed Maher, Abdul Rahman Yusuf and former parliamentarian Mostafa al-Naggar — triggered a great debate in Egypt, and renewed concerns that the Mubarak police state, which used to eavesdrop on politicians and its opponents, is back.

In response to what Ali did, Naggar and Yusuf filed a lawsuit on Jan. 12 before the administrative court of the state council to cancel the TV show "Black Box," which Ali presents, and to close the TV channel Al-Qahira wal Nas.

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