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Egypt: Online Porn, Here to Stay?

Written by Rayna St On 9 November 2012 @ 7:29 pm | 5 Comments

In Egypt, Freedom of Expression, Internet governance, News, Regulation

The ongoing battle over the future Egyptian constitution [1] and the more-than-a-month long strike of Egyptian medical workers [2] 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 [3].

As we reported, following the Public Prosecutor's statement, the CEO of the National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority [4] (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 [5] when on November 8, 2012, the NTRA published a precautionary statement on its Facebook page [6] [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!


Article printed from Global Voices Advocacy: http://advocacy.globalvoicesonline.org

URL to article: http://advocacy.globalvoicesonline.org/2012/11/09/egypt-online-porn-is-here-to-stay/

URLs in this post:

[1] ongoing battle over the future Egyptian constitution: http://fikraforum.org/?p=2823

[2] strike of Egyptian medical workers: http://www.moftasa.net/node/2805

[3] Egypt would start blocking porn sites: http://advocacy.globalvoicesonline.org/2012/11/08/egypt-to-block-porn-sites-again/

[4] National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority: http://www.tra.gov.eg/english/main.asp

[5] Egyptians were holding their breath: http://ispornblockedinegyptyet.com/

[6] a precautionary statement on its Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=519832384695013&set=a.519832364695015.123285.202103219801266&type=3&theater

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