Amnesty calls on Egypt lawmakers to reject online censorship laws

Amnesty International (AI) called [press release] Monday for the Egyptian parliament to vote down proposed laws [text, in Arabic] that would increase the government’s control over online content.

Najia Bounaim [Twitter profile], Director of Campaigns in North Africa, said,

These proposed laws would increase the Egyptian government’s already broad powers to monitor, censor and block social media and blogs, as well as criminalize content that violates vaguely defined political, social or religious norms.

If the laws are passed, law enforcement will be able to monitor and block websites in the name of crime prevention and protection of national security. The laws on online media would also increase the regulation of the media to potentially block disfavored sites. Amnesty reports that “Over the past year, the Egyptian authorities have blocked 500 websites including independent news platforms and pages belonging to rights groups.”

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