updated 02:10 pm EST, Sun March 6, 2011
Vodafone Egypt confirms FaceTime no longer blocked
Vodafone Egypt confirmed on Sunday that it had brought FaceTime to local iPhone 4 users for the first time as of Saturday. The liberation of the country from Mubarak's regime had removed the restrictions previously imposed upon it and would give it the same access as in other countries. Most users should have it soon, if not already, through a carrier update delivered through iTunes.
The previous government had used blocks on communication as a means of political control. During the height of attempts to suppress protests, the Mubarak government had temporarily blocked all landline and mobile Internet access. It had previously demanded arbitrary restrictions on phone functionality in the past, including disabled iPhone GPS.
Other countries in the Middle East, such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar, still block FaceTime themselves but more for cultural than political reasons. They often follow orthodox Muslim rules more strictly than in Egypt and consider the two-way video calls potentially immoral for local residents. [via SaudiMac]