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Egypt: Online Porn, Here to Stay?

The ongoing battle over the future Egyptian constitution and the more-than-a-month long strike of Egyptian medical workers are among the most pressing issues in the country at the moment… or are they? The Public Prosecutor apparently decided the people needed more drama and announced that Egypt would start blocking porn sites.

As we reported, following the Public Prosecutor's statement, the CEO of the National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (NTRA) announced the decision has been enforced. He also took the careful precaution to remind everyone of the inherent technical difficulties such a move will entail.

Egyptians were holding their breath when on November 8, 2012, the NTRA published a precautionary statement on its Facebook page [Ar]. The Authority insisted on the following:

  • Internet service providers (ISPs) are not technically able to block all the hundreds of millions of existing pornographic domain names and websites;
  • Previous experience, notably in the Gulf states, has demonstrated the technical difficulty that pornographic content blocking measures entails;
  • “Family internet” filtering offers do exist in the market. Citizens could therefore decide on subscribing to those or not. Subsequently, this makes centralized censorship by ISPs pointless.

According to the Egyptian legislation, the NTRA has a mandate over ISPs and their policies. It is thus very likely, given this political and judicial imbroglio, that ultimately online porn in Egypt is here to stay!

5 comments

  • [...] den 9. november lod Telekom-myndighederne dog vide, at  internet-firmaerne faktisk ikke magter at blokere for hundrede-tusinder af websider om [...]

  • [...] to generalized censorship. The Egyptian Telecommunication Regulatory Authority has, however, issued a much more nuanced statement which jeopardizes the Prosecutor’s move in favour of [...]

  • [...] Egypt: Online Porn, Here to Stay? – Global Voices Advocacy Go to this article [...]

  • [...] The National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) reacted to the verdict saying they respect Court rulings, and will enforce this one as soon as they receive an official copy of it. I love the NTRA guys: they always say such things and later on, they claim practical enforcement is unrealistic as it’ll harm economy, etc. The most recent such situation was when Egypt was about to ban porn sites again, as I analyzed it at that time: few days after the NTRA said the judgement was enforced, they gently explained why online porn is here to stay in Egypt. [...]

  • [...] November, an order banning all pornographic websites in Egypt was issued but never materialized. Officials cited technical difficulties and high costs associated with the blocking. They favored a decentralized [...]

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