A hand typing on a keyboard – Pixabay/fancycrave1 A hand typing on a keyboard – Pixabay/fancycrave1

Egypt's Parliament approves cyber crime bill

Mon, May. 14, 2018
CAIRO – 14 May 2018: Parliament initialed a cybercrime bill on Monday 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”.

The bill regulates Internet Service Providers’ (ISPs) activities and their obligation to provide national security authorities with information on users suspected of spreading terrorist and extremist ideologies via the internet. It also aims at securing personal data of internet users.

Accordingly, article 18 offers punishment of not less than one month in prison or a fine of not less than LE 50,000 ($2,800) and not more than LE 100,000 for anyone who breaches or harms someone’s personal email account or website.

Parliament also approved article 9 of the cybercrime law, allowing the Attorney General or specialized investigative authorities to impose travel bans on persons charged of committing or attempting to commit cybercrimes, if enough evidence against them exists.

In April, Parliament’s Communications and Information Technology Committee approved the draft cybercrime law, which aims to pose surveillance on social media and limit the spread of fake news, particularly those that incite violence.

MP Nedal al-Saeed, head of the committee, said that he will submit a report about the cybercrime law to Parliament Speaker Ali Abdul Aal to be discussed during the plenary session.

FILE - MP John Talaat

In an interview with Egypt Today, MP John Talaat, deputy head of the committee, said that the law would combat hackers, fake emails and credit card theft.

When asked about how the law helps fight terrorism, Talaat did not answer specifically. However, he said that if a website published content that violates the cybercrime law, then those responsible for the violation would be judged and the website would be banned if the violation was repeated.

In May 2017, Egyptian authorities decided to ban 21 news websites, including HuffPost Arabi, Qatari-based Al-Jazeera and Masr al-Arabiya, for "supporting terrorism and publishing fake news."

Parts of the reporting were taken from MENA
Additional reporting by Amr Kandil
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