World View: Mass Demonstrations on Sunday Could Affect Egypt's Future

World View: Mass Demonstrations on Sunday Could Affect Egypt's Future

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Mass demonstrations on Sunday can affect Egypt’s future
  • Morsi’s opponents in Egypt list the human rights complaints against him
  • Egypt shuts down the smuggling tunnels with Gaza
  • Tech: Computer viruses increasingly attack mobile phones

Mass demonstrations on Sunday can affect Egypt’s future

Muslim Brotherhood members wave sticks and shout slogans in support of president Mohamed Morsi (Reuters)
Muslim Brotherhood members wave sticks and shout slogans in support of president Mohamed Morsi (Reuters)

Two and a half years after mass demonstrations toppled Egypt’spresident Hosni Mubarak, who had ruled for decades, the biggest massdemonstrations since then are planned for Sunday by opponents ofpresident Mohamed Morsi, as the first anniversary of ascension topower arrives. The “Tamarod” (rebel) movement has gathered over 22million signatures demanding that Morsi step down.

On Saturday, thousands of people gathered in Tahrir Square in Cairo,in anticipation of Sunday’s demonstrations. At the same time, MuslimBrotherhood members and Morsi supporters have been gathering for acounter-demonstration. Both sides say they want to avoid violence,but there have already been violent clashes the last few days, and ayoung American student was killed as collateral damage. Religiousleaders have warned of “civil war,” but the army has said it will stepin if violence gets out of control.

It’s worth mentioning, at least in passing, that these massdemonstrations are not directed at either Israel or America. Thereare plenty of anti-Israel and anti-America demonstrations in theMideast, but not in Egypt. Al-Ahram (Cairo) and Reuters

Morsi’s opponents in Egypt list the human rights complaints against him

As Egypt approaches the first anniversary of the election MohamedMorsi as the first elected president in thousands of years, Morsi’spopularity has suffered because of massive economic problems,including high unemployment and massive gasoline shortages.

The opponents of Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood party are pointingto a number of human rights violations perpetrated by Morsi since hewas elected President last year. As Egypt’s first elected presidentin thousands of years, he was initially given the benefit of the doubtby many Egyptians, especially after his stunning success in mediatinglast year’s war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. However, hisprestige and support evaporated very quickly after that, when stunnedthe nation by issuing a decree giving himself dictatorial powers andforcing adoption of a new constitution written by and for the MuslimBrotherhood.

Morsi’s opponents are now saying that he never cared about theEgyptian people, or reversing the human rights violations when HosniMubarak was in power. They point to the following:

  • He brutally suppressed political and social protest movements.
  • He gave his Muslim Brotherhood supporters free rain to use violence to punish and intimidate their opponents, including through torture and even killings.
  • He’s taken revenge against the courts, including the Supreme Constitutional Court, for opposing some of his decrees, by dismissing judges and ignoring court rulings.
  • Military trials from the Mubarak era are continuing in the Morsi era.
  • He expanded harassment of journalists and media workers.
  • He’s given the Muslim Brotherhood control over the labor unions.

During the election campaign, Morsi was the “Hope and Change”candidate who promised a free, secular society that would NOT becontrolled by the Muslim Brotherhood, with a growing economy andopportunity for everyone. Morsi’s opponents say that he never meantany of his promises, and that they were all forgotten the day he waselected.

In a conciliatory speech on Thursday, Morsi said:

“I stand before you as an Egyptian citizen, not as theholder of an office, who is fearful for his country.

Today, I present an audit of my first year, with fulltransparency, along with a road map. Some things were achieved andothers not. I have made mistakes on a number ofissues.”

Morsi apologized for the fuel shortages, and for not involving thenation’s youth more in the new political system. All Africa andAl-Jazeera

Egypt shuts down the smuggling tunnels with Gaza

With June 30 approaching, Egyptian security has harshly cracked downon smuggling though tunnels connecting Gaza to Egypt’s Sinai region.The result has been a fuel shortage in Gaza, doubling of the price ofbuilding materials and the shutting down some construction sites.Morsi’s policies with regard to the tunnels has been very severe forseveral months, ever since a brutal terrorist attack in Sinai wasblamed on jihadists from Gaza.

When Mohamed Morsi became president and the Muslim Brotherhood scoredmajor political victories last year, the people of Gaza were ecstatic,believing that Morsi would completely open up the crossings betweenGaza and Egypt. Whether or not Morsi actually intended to open up thecrossings, what he actually did do was to maintain Mubarak’s policy ofkeeping the crossings closed, and make it even more strict in someways. Al-Ahram (Cairo) and AP

Tech: Computer viruses increasingly attack mobile phones

Statistics from a new report are quite dramatic:

  • Computer malware or viruses that attack mobile devices are skyrocketing.
  • 92% of all malware attacks target smartphones running the Android operating system from Google. Nearly 70% of all smartphones shipped in 2012 were Androids.
  • 96% of all Android smartphones have old versions of the operating system, and so are completely unprotected by the latest security fixes.

Most of the malware comes from malicious apps that the users install.One common malicious app is one that tricks the user into sending SMSmessages to premium-rate numbers, resulting in charges up to $10 permessage.

The latest version of the Android OS protects against many of theseattacks, but only 4% of the Androids have the latest version. Theproblem is that mobile carriers (Verizon, Sprint, etc.) do not updatetheir customers’ phones because it’s too much trouble for them, eventhough it leaves their own customers exposed to malware. Users shoulddemand that their carriers provide the updates, and should sue thecarriers if they lose money because an old Android OS version allowedan expensive attack to occur.

If you purchase a new Android phone, one thing you should investigateis whether the Android operating system is capable of being updateddirectly by Google, rather than by the carrier. This way, you’ll atleast have the latest security fixes. Dark Reading

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