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Egyptian camera bill stokes fears of surveillance state

Some fear a draft law requiring public cafes and shops to use surveillance cameras threatens to turn Egypt into a surveillance state.
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While Egyptian officials argue that a new bill requiring restaurant and shop owners to install cameras will hinder terrorism and boost security, critics counter that the true targets are opponents of the government.

Egypt’s parliamentary committee on local administration met May 15 in the presence of representatives of the Ministries of Local Development, Justice, Tourism and Health and approved a draft law on shops and restaurants, commonly referred to as the draft law on commercial shops. The bill merges and amends three existing laws on shops and restaurants and includes a special provision forcing the owners of cafes and shops to install indoor and outdoor surveillance cameras to obtain a license for their enterprises.

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