© AFP/File / by Jan Hennop with James Pheby in London | The site, webstresser.org, was the world's largest illegal DDOS seller
CAIRO – 4 February 2019: Head of the Cabinet's Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC) said that cybercrime in Egypt has increased by 190 percent from 2012 to 2017, explaining that most of the crimes targeted penetrating websites and altering their homepages and content.
Participating in a seminar entitled "Freedom in the Age of Informatics," held in the Cairo International Book Fair, Ziad Abdel Tawab said that the government exerted extensive efforts to regulate cyberspace. He added that the constitution included for the first time articles that aim at providing sufficient security measures to protect people's personal data and allowing freedom of information exchange.
He also referred to the impact of social networks on citizens, including how rumors influence people's lives. He said that the center has devoted a section to respond to rumors, in order to ensure the stability of the community, adding that rumors spread on specific occasions.
In July 2018, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi warned against false news clarifying that more than 21,000 rumors have been propagated over a period of three months. The president also asked the citizens to be cautious of calls that inherently aim at the collapse of the Egyptian state.
At the end of 2018, Cabinet's media center issued an information report on rumors attempting to fail the state's constructive efforts throughout the year, revealing that education was the most targeted by rumors, obviously due to the radical changes it is undergoing under the new system.
According to the official infographics, the education sector was targeted by 21.5 percent of rumors in 2018, followed by the ration sector that got 17 percent of the rumors, while 15.3 percent went to the economy sector.
CAIRO - 2 January 2018: Concluding 2018, Cabinet's media center issued an information report on rumors attempting to fail the state's constructive efforts throughout the year, revealing that education was the most targeted by rumors, obviously due to the radical changes it is undergoing under the new system.
In May, Parliament initialed a cybercrime bill aiming at combating the illegal use of computers and information networks.
The Anti-Cyber and Information Technology Crimes Law defines commonly used concepts such as “websites, traffic data, digital directory, personal statements and national security."
On August 18, Sisi ratified the anti-cybercrime law, allowing authorities, through a judge, to order the blocking of websites that "constitute a threat" to the state or publish fake news as well as jail or fine those who run them.
The law imposes jail terms of up to five years and fines ranging between LE 10,000 and LE 20 million ($560 and $1.1m).
According to the law, people whose social media accounts have more than 5,000 followers could be placed under supervision.
The law authorizes authorities to suspend or block any personal account which "publishes or broadcasts fake news or anything (information) inciting violating the law, violence or hatred."
The danger of fake news nowadays lies in their ability to spread rapidly over the internet through social media platforms and websites of high traffic.
Personal data protection
In August, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat announced the Cabinet’s approval of a draft law aiming to protect personal data.
According to official reports, the law protects citizens’ “fully or partially electronically treated personal data."
In a press statement following the meeting, Talaat said that the law prohibits gathering or processing individuals’ personal data or spreading them by any means without the permission of the concerned individuals, except in cases authorized legally.
Talaat affirmed the country’s keenness to attract international and regional investments in the field of database centers and to establish legally protected data centers.