On November 14, 2012, the NTRA hosted in its premises the meeting of the Consumers Rights Protection Committee (CRPC) in its new composition and headed by Eng. Hani Mahmoud, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, and Dr. Amr Badawi, NTRA's Executive President.
The Committee discussed its achievements during the past two years. In addition it discussed the most important issues raised then in ICT sector, most importantly, the blocking of porn sites. In this respect, Eng. Hani Mahmoud underscored the fact that this issue would be technically difficult. In fact, there were many software that could be used to break the filters that block these sites, He added. The minister also stressed the fact that these porn sites could be eliminated only through raising the users' awareness about the perilous impact thereof on youth and children. Eng. Mahmoud stated that the ISPs provided the users with software that would enable them to block such sites through the so-called 'Family Internet' and that such tool was offered for free.
On the other hand, Dr. Amr Badawi pointed out that CRPC has been deriving its executive arm from the power and competence of the NTRA in addition to the latter's control of the telecom market as the NTRA has been the executive leverage of the Committee.
It is worth mentioning that CRPC is an affiliate of NTRA and consists of a group of eminent figures and experts with technological, medical, legal backgrounds, in addition to media experts and representatives of the civil society and academic professors.
The Committee aims to ensure the Egyptian user's obtainment of his rights in ICT sector, namely free competition, affordable prices, high quality of service, and prevention of monopolistic practices. Furthermore, the Committee pays special attention to the Disabled and provides them with the appropriate services, and eliminates all illegal practices through raising the users' awareness about telecom services.
The most significant achievements the Committee attained during the past two years include:
- Drafting the Consumers' Rights and Obligations Covenant (or Code).
- Drafting the Mobile Phones Usage Ethics Code that included ethics and public decencies that should be observed on using the mobile phones.
- Assigning Number 155 for the NTRA Call center, publishing it in all Egyptian papers so that the consumers can be informed about it.
- Choosing the “Know Your Rights” slogan was as the CRPC slogan.
- The Committee agreed with Telecom Egypt (TE) and the two mobile operators to assign numbers 122 and 112 for Emergency Service.
- Publishing a handbook on CRPC in both English and Arabic languages addressing the committee’s role, objectives, duties and elaborating on the consumers’ rights and duties.
- Defining the meaning of privacy, and the privacy rules and commitments that telecom operators should adhere to. The NTRA is currently overseeing the implementation of these rules and commitments.
- Making some modifications to the contracts concluded by TE and mobile operators on one side and consumers on the other side.
- Launching an awareness Campaign under the slogan 'Know Your rights' in all Egyptian governorates. It aimed to raise the consumers' awareness of various telecom issues.
- Activating the NGOs' role by supporting and encouraging them to commence the fruitful cooperation between the NTRA and CRPC on one side and NGOs concerned with consumers' protection on the other side. The Committee is currently sending correspondences to such organizations to hold joint meetings for the discussion of cooperation aspects and how they could be a nucleus of continuous efforts and collaboration that would benefit telecom service consumers.