Blocking Blue Whale in Egypt 'almost impossible': NTRA
CAIRO – 5 May 2018: Representative of the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) Hossam Abdel Mawla said Friday that complete blocking of games that urges young people to commit suicide and murder is “technically almost impossible.”
Abdel Mawla stressed during the Telecommunication and IT Committee meeting at the House of Representatives to address taking the necessary procedures against such games.
He added that the problem is that links to download these games can be sent via social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.
On Saturday, Attorney General Nabil Sadek ordered NTRA to take the necessary measures to ban all websites and platforms that allow access to suicide-encouraging games.
The top prosecutor explained his decision that such games are dangerous to lives of youth and teenagers.
“Those games target the young people, incite them to commit suicide and hurt their beloved ones, which threatens the safety of the Egyptian family, and the national security as well,” the attorney general statement reads.
The Head of Egyptian Federation for Electronic Games, Sherief Abdelbaky, stated on April 5 that blocking any site or game needs high technical capabilities and he suggested providing support and strong local game alternatives.
“I would be lying if I assumed that we will succeed in banning these games, as no country managed to do so,” Abdel Mawla said. “But we promise to do our best here in Egypt by utilizing all the international technical discoveries in this regard.”
“The game is available to everyone, despite the arrest of its creator,” Abdel Mawla said, promising to provide a study conducted by the ministry in cooperation with telecommunications companies after two weeks on means of blocking the game.
Despite the awareness campaigns that have been raised recently in media outlets against the deadly online game “Blue Whale”, Beheira Governorate has seen another case of an Egyptian teenager committing suicide after playing the game, putting in question the effectiveness of these campaigns.
The 12-year-old Egyptian child committed suicide by taking poisonous pills on Thursday; implementing the orders throughout the stages of the 50-task game. The case was linked to the Blue Whale game after initial investigations showed that the Blue Whale-shaped sign was carved onto his arm.