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Friday, March 23, 2012

Censorship a priority for Egyptian telecom minister

From Egypt Independent:

The government is taking steps to completely block internet pornography in Egypt, according to Minister of Telecommunications and Information Technology Mohamed Salem.

Salem announced Thursday that the National Telecommunications Regulation Authority will form a committee to lay out the technical methods for the control of adult websites, which he estimated to number in the millions. The censorship was also recently discussed in Parliament.

“Parliament will be represented in the committee. The issue is becoming persistent and worrying to families,” said Salem in a briefing on the sidelines of a conference for people with special needs.
This seems to be in response from a call from both Islamist and liberal MPs last month.

If Egypt can block pornography on a national level, it can block anything it deems offensive. So this is not a morality issue - it is a censorship and freedom issue. It is expensive to install the proper equipment to block portions of the Internet to the entire country, and Egypt is strapped for cash.

Last January, Egypt shut down the Internet altogether for a few days in response to the revolution.