The long cliff-hanging of Egypt’s newest cyberlaw has come to end as the President Sisi has signed it on Saturday, as per the state media. The bill which was backed by two-thirds of the 596 Egyptian parliament members previous month has finally grown up as the law in Egypt, all thanks to the Premier Sisi for ratifying that.
This law vows to eradicate the extremism, fake news or anything that could incite the netizens to breach the law or to spread hatred. The newest law also prohibits spreading of the information regarding the movement of security forces and hacking of the government information systems. Not to forget, strict punishments as per the violation of the law will be brought in by authorities and that too without any compromise.
It isn’t over yet as the social media accounts over 5000 followers will be taken as the public websites and would be regulated similarly as the media outlets. Moreover, such social media accounts, blogs and websites would also go under the radar of Egypt’s Supreme Council for Media Regulations for surveillance purpose.
What government and its allies call a bid to eradicate terrorism is said to be an exploit by President Sisi as it empowers him to shut down the peaceful critics and bloggers cynically. Until Sisi’s arrival in power, back in 2014; around 500 websites have been blocked by the Egyptian government. And now with such a strict cyberlaw affecting everything and everyone on the internet it is perceived as the full-stop to the free speech online.
“While Egypt faces security threats, the government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has exploited these threats cynically as a cover to prosecute peaceful critics,” said Nadim Houry, director of terrorism and counterterrorism at Human Rights Watch.
It will be pertinent to mention here that those violating the new internet law will face up to $10,000 fine and up to two years in prison as well.