Egypt Customs denies to send Nokia Lumia Smartphone with Camera to local Vulnerability Researcher

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Egypt Customs denies to send Nokia Lumia Smartphone with Camera to local Vulnerability Researcher

The following information is dedicated to all egyptian vulnerability-researchers community and well known bug bounty hunters.

Yesterday a vulnerability researcher of egypt (Ahmed Aboul Ela) revealed information to his facebook friends regarding a reward he won in a public security program. The reward should be send via DHL or another supplier but the government of egypt denied to send the reward because of it was a electronical device with camera.

MDSIRT said in an official mailing "Hi, our mailing room sent mail regarding this, they found out that Egypt customs will not allow any device which have camera included"

After the second request by the vulnerability researcher the security program of nokia and microsoft revealed that the egypt government denies to send electronical devices with cameras from outside the own country. The restriction is part of a regulation to censor the information exchange in the own country and around. The restriction has been silent set by officials of the egyptian government against several big manufacturers like Microsoft, Siemens, Samsung, Nikon, Canon and more. After a request to a trading station in egypt we got the following details back.

Disallowed are the following devices by egyptian customs ...
- A web camera live-stream like googleglasses & co.,
- High quality digital cameras by nikon or canon & co. (cams with sd cards or memory)
- All smart phones with high quality cameras in models like microsofts nokia lumia, apple iOS iphone, samsung galaxy ...
- All kind of telephoto lenses

The only possibility as egyptian vulnerability researcher or bug bounty hunter to get the device (benefit reward) is by leaving the country for a short trip. After the arrival to another shipping address or postbox the researcher has only the option to smuggle the device back inside his own country which impact a limited risk. The reason for the regulations are for example the running civil war inside of egypt and instability of the country. Obviously it became more silent after "Jasmin" but the fire still burns.

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