FILE - Parliament General Assembly
CAIRO - 14 March 2018: Parliament’s Telecommunications and Information Technology Committee has approved new amendments to the government’s anti-cybercrime law.
The amendments include setting a six-month imprisonment and a fine not less than LE 100,000 ($5,670) and not more than LE 500,000 for anyone found to be deliberately messing with an internet connection.
In mid-February, the Cabinet referred a draft anti-cybercrime law to Parliament for discussion, which included posing surveillance on social media and limiting the spread of fake news, particularly news inciting violence.
The long-awaited draft law was sent to Parliament to be discussed, as the law has an indispensable role in dealing with the rumors that are not easily monitored on social media.
First introduced before Parliament in May 2016, the 33-article draft law was proposed to criminalize illegal electronic practices, such as electronic fraud and encouraging terrorist practices; however, activists and rights defenders perceive the penalties stipulated by the law as very harsh and as a restriction of the freedom of expression, according to various news outlets.
The punishments in the draft law range from a month in prison to a death penalty, should, in the latter case, the cybercrime result in the death of someone or be considered a threat to national security. The law also stipulates other penalties, such as blocking sites and canceling their licenses according to court judgments.