Egypt : a controversial law against cybercrime

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has enacted a controversial fight against cybercrime law. Photo: Twitter

Casablanca (ADV) – Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has enacted a controversial “fight against cybercrime” law, according to the official newspaper published on Saturday, when the Internet is in the regime’s sights.

Human rights organizations regularly denounce the violations of freedoms by President Sissi’s government, particularly on the Web.

Under the new law, the authorities may block, through a judge, any site whose content constitutes, according to it “a threat to national security” or “the national economy.”

More than 500 news sites or NGO’s are currently stranded in Egypt, according to the Cairo-based Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE).

Organizations or persons subject to a blocking measure, as well as the prosecution service, may appeal.

The new law also provides for a prison sentence of one year and a fine of 50,000 to 100,000 Egyptian pounds (about 2,440 to 4,885 euros) for “anyone who deliberately or by mistake, and without good reason, accesses a site, a private account or a computer system whose access is prohibited.

Several Internet users and bloggers, government critics or known for their satirical comments or drawings, have recently been arrested and detained. Authorities accuse them of belonging to “banned groups” and spreading “fake news”.

© Bur-csa – ADV