No Signal: Egypt blocks the encrypted messaging app as it continues its cyber crackdown

After a week of blocking the secure messaging app Signal in Egypt the service is back online thanks to new features added by its parent company Open Whisper Systems.

Last week Egyptian users raised the alarm about their inability to access the highly encrypted app popular among activists including important whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Egypt has been increasingly tightening controls on speech all year, and the move against Signal is just the latest attempt to stifle dissent and impede open journalism.

“Signal is important as a means of secure communications without third parties knowing who I’m contacting,” said prominent Egyptian blogger and Global Voices board member Mohammed El Gohary.


Southern Africa: State ‘capture’ or the nature of the state?

by Shawn Hattingh

Across the political spectrum, individuals and organisations have been expressing their disgust and shock that a faction – indeed a single family, the Guptas – have ‘captured’ the state. Consequently, there have been calls for state ‘capture’ to be ended though firing Zuma.

The Gupta’s offering cabinet posts to politicians, if true, was brazen and corrupt. While the fact that a section of capitalists – in this case a family – have such influence over the state should disgust us; it should not come as a surprise. To understand why, it is important to look at what states are, why they arose, and whose interests they serve. Coupled to this, it is essential to look at a few examples of how the state and capitalism in South Africa have always been defined by cronyism and corruption.

What are states?


Egypt: Fear the Everyday State

i took some time - over two years - to reflect on what had hit us, what had happened between the start of a revolt on January 25 2011 and a coup - for lack of a better word - on July 3 2013. Now again having taken a break and looking back at this, I realize that what i left understated and is becoming ever more apparent in the juggernaut of suppression and absolute madness of torture and brutality is the fear within the system’s actors. There is a reason why under the infamous Pinochet military regime thousands upon thousands disappeared, were fed to the seas and the desert: the regime feared them, every single one of them with their thoughts, their dreams and their desires. Something even the Washington Post got right recently: Sisi is no Pinochet, already a year into his rule he has proven himself to be far worse. Pinochet lasted 16 years, Sisi won’t last anywhere near that long. The mechanism he is creating is gnawing at the very makeup of life in Egypt.


Africa: Eritrea: National Liberation? National Disaster?

The world is divided into nation-states. These artificial constructs have either evolved over an extended period, through the actions of people within particular areas or are created by outside forces. There is nothing 'natural' about them, though this is harder to see in cases where they have been in place for a long time.


'Mass Struggle Works': South African Student Uprising Wins Tuition Freeze

by Sarah Lazare
Common Dreams
October 23, 2015

Facing the largest student uprisings since South Africans toppled apartheid, President Jacob Zuma pledged Friday to freeze tuition fees in the year 2016—prompting declarations of victory, as well as calls to continue the mass mobilizations until full racial and economic equality is won.

"A famous victory won by the hard struggle of students. We are all humbled," Salim Vally, associate professor of education and director of the Center for Education Rights and Transformation at the University of Johannesburg, told Common Dreams. "The determination and resoluteness of the students forced the hand of government. This was clear to many even before the sun rose this morning."

"Many lessons learned and an incredibly important educational experience for us all," Vally continued. "Foremost of which is that unity and mass struggle works."


Statement of the Egyptian Libertarian Socialist Movement

Organise #83
Anarchist Federation (UK)

General al-Sisi, a former army chief (and now Egyptian leader - Organise! editors) must grapple with the country's economic problems as with infighting in the circles of power.

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