Analysis by Cam McGrath
"During the uprising that ended Hosni Mubarak’s 29-year rule, Egyptian protesters stormed state security headquarters in Cairo. Inside they discovered a trove of documents – including surveillance reports on activists, transcripts of telephone conversations, and intercepted emails – that revealed the meticulous records the state kept on the activities of its citizens....
Rights advocates say the battle to make the military and other public agencies more accountable to the people goes beyond the drafting of freedom of information legislation. Egypt has a number of pre-existing laws that restrict access to government-held documents and data.
They say it is imperative that any new FOIL explicitly supersedes all previous laws, or that the right to information is enshrined in the new constitution, due to be drafted soon."