Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Egypt’s Cybercrime law : Because one law is not enough to tame social media

The Egyptian House of Representatives has been very active in early June approving and passing several laws that technically kill any freedom of speech margin left in the country especially in the social media realm.

On 5 June “Special cursed date indeed”, Egypt’s parliament passed after many months the Cybercrime law which regulates social media and web content as well ISP surveillance.
If the law of Supreme Council of Media “SCM” puts popular social media network accounts, the newly approved Cybercrime law puts all Egyptians online under the law whether they are popular and have more than 5,000 followers or subscribers or not.“5000 followers out of 100 million Egyptians technically are a threat to the Egyptian national security.”
bloggers with 5,000 followers or subscribers under that law, the
Thanks Facebook banner in those days of January 2011
There are many articles in that law that technically can be described as loose and vague anti-freedom of speech articles directly based on what I have read in the past few days online.
Article No.7 stipulates that the authorities have the right to shut down or block any Egypt-based or foreign website that incites against the Egyptian state or threatens its national security through the use of digital content.

This article can be used to block radical terrorist websites as well as opposition, human rights and independent news websites as we have seen already without that law.
Egypt has currently blocked over 400 websites mostly news websites and human rights websites.
On Sunday, “The writer” website was blocked in Egypt after its launch by 10 hours only !! That website was dedicated to freedom of press and expression in Egypt.

Article No.15 stipulates that anyone accesses any website banned in Egypt whether intentionally or unintentionally by mistake, should be sentenced to jail for not less than a year and to be fined LE 50,000.
So anyone may find himself or herself in jail or fined because he or she wants to check the news of the Turkish presidential elections on the official Turkish TV website which is banned and blocked in Egypt !!!!

Article No.25 stipulates that anyone writes online what can be considered as incitement against the family values of the Egyptian society can be sentenced to jail for not less than 6 months and to be fined not less than LE 50,000.
What are these “family values of the Egyptian society”? What can be considered an incitement?
Another article speaks on how the ISPs should keep their clients' info from browsing history for 180 days or they will be fined.

Cairo-based News website Mada Masr, which is already blocked in Egypt published a very nice report on how that new Cybercrime law could send you to jail.
You must read it.

It is another blow to Egyptian bloggers and citizen journalists. In fact, it is a blow to anyone thinks to use social media in order to share his opposing views.
The Cybercrime law has not been ratified by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

I do not have doubt that some are waiting for it to be in effect to end the spread of that anti-Sisi hashtag “#Sisi_degage” on Twitter and Facebook dominating their top hashtags for days now.

The thing is that social media is actually a vent for the public now, it is better to leave them express their anger virtually than to make them blow up suddenly in an explosion of anger in the real world.
Some people do not learn from history, they do not even want to learn.


  1. Our country is also trying now to "catch up" to where Egypt and Sisi is. We will be there soon.

    1. and it is going too fast on that way if I may say.

  2. Country of darkness shame on you we live in 2o18 not in BC


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