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In Egypt, things still done the Mubarak way

While Hosni Mubarak stands trial, interim government quietly adopts his harsh tactics.

Abdelazim doesn't know who is listening to his phone calls, but — again — he says that he is quite sure that it is not the civilian government.

“And I thought that wiretapping was over in Egypt,” he quips.

Indeed, after the revolution and the subsequent storming of state security archives, many Egyptians were shocked to find out about the meticulousness with which the former regime had monitored the citizens' communications. The new ministry of interior made a public promise to leave the citizens' phones and email accounts alone in the future.

Amr Gharbeia, of course, was skeptical about that promise.

“I get hints from people working inside telecom companies that nothing has changed. At least the law hasn't changed, and the law allows the companies to install and operate surveillance equipment.”

Gharbeia pauses for a moment. A splitting headache remains as a souvenir of the mugging he received on July 23.

“In fact, the law requires them to do so.”