Vodafone "Forced" to Send Pro-Government Messages in Egypt

According to a Vodafone press release, the Egyptian government forced the mobile carrier to send pro-government text messages to its subscribers:

Under the emergency powers provisions of the Telecoms Act, the Egyptian authorities can instruct the mobile networks of Mobinil, Etisalat and Vodafone to send messages to the people of Egypt. They have used this since the start of the protests. These messages are not scripted by any of the mobile network operators and we do not have the ability to respond to the authorities on their content.

Vodafone Group has protested to the authorities that the current situation regarding these messages is unacceptable. We have made clear that all messages should be transparent and clearly attributable to the originator.

Two points on this.  First, Egypt has been in a "state of emergency" for over 40 years.  Emergency law was imposed during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, and except for a brief hiatus in the early '80s, the extraordinary powers afforded the government in a time of crisis have been in effect since then.  So it's hard to suggest that Vodafone was surprised by the Egyptian government's legal authority to abuse its networks in this way.

Second, Vodafone's suggestion that they had no choice in this matter-- that the company was forced to send the messages without editing the content or discussing the matter with the authorities-- doesn't sound quite right. Of course, we want telecom companies to respect the laws of the countries in which they operate. But when the laws are such an obvious abuse of power, in such important circumstances, and so damaging to the operator itself, I would hope for a bit more pushback.  

Vodafone carries over 40% of the mobile users in Egypt, and while they certainly wouldn't want to lose their 25-ish million subscribers (out of 330+ million subscribers globally), the Egyptian government doesn't want to see them walk out either. I'm not suggesting that Vodafone should have abandoned their customers in Egypt-- mobile phones have been an important tool to protesters, and most people probably knew better than to believe the messages, anyway-- but at a time when every other actor in the system is putting pressure on the Egyptian government to change, Vodafone could have-- and should have-- done the same, and refused to send the messages.