The Telecommunications and Information Technology Committee – File Photo
CAIRO – 31 October 2017:The Telecommunications and Information Technology Committee at the House of Representatives will consider a new bill that criminalizes cyber crimes during the third round of Parliament sessions.
The notion of imposing laws criminalizing cyber crimes in Egypt was proposed in 2016 by parliamentarian Tamer Shahawy who called for setting up penalties against chaos, individual violations, illegal electronic practices, and crimes threatening national security.
The draft law stipulates the decriminalization of electronic acts such as electronic fraud, the creation of websites to incite terrorism, or the transfer of confidential information.
The cyber crimes, as per the bill, are punishable up to death or life imprisonment, blocking websites or canceling their licenses by court orders.
Those who create or use a website with the aim of establishing a terrorist entity, promoting its ideology, exchanging assignments, or raising funds to provide money, arms, ammunitions, or explosives to those entities will be sentenced to life imprisonment, the bill stipulates.
As part of the government’s efforts to address websites inciting violence, a total of 21 websites were blocked in Egypt in June, including Qatar’s Al-Jazeera, given that it publishes content that “supports terrorism and deliberately spreads lies.”
Pro-Islamists news websites and other venues such as Masr al-Arabia, Arabi 21, Al-Sharq, Klmty, Al-Horria Post, Hasam Egypt, Ikhwan Online, Rassd, Cairo Portal, Egypt Window, as well as the Palestinian group Hamas’ website are inaccessible.