Egypt Bans Internet Porn, Blocks Websites

Mar 29, 2012 8:45 AM PST

CAIRO — An Egyptian administrative court has banned all Internet porn.

According to reports, Egyptians are banned from surfing the Internet for any type of porn, and the state has ordered that X-rated websites be blocked.

The verdict comes after last month’s push by Younis Makhioun, a prime minister of Egypt’s ultra-conservative al-Nour Salafist religious People’s Assembly Transportation and Telecommunications Committee, for an all out ban on porn.

Makhioun said that porn sites have destroyed morality, corrupted the youth and spread obscenity, family troubles, rape and divorce and that a ban would stop Egypt’s youth from becoming “busy with lust.”

Just last week, Minister of Telecommunications and Information Technology, Mohamed Salem joined the anti-porn efforts, calling for a new committee to be formed to discuss the technical methods on how to handcuff porn sites.

The court’s verdict described porn sites as "poisons in spreading immorality" that "destroy all religious beliefs, ethics and moral values. Not blocking them destroys values. This can't be considered in the frame of freedom of expression because what's shown on these websites harms the country's higher interests and its national and social security."

The decision no doubt will spark an outcry from some Egyptians who have made it clear that the ban constitutes the loss of personal freedoms and the possibility of further censorship to non-porn sites.

What’s more, some vocal critics of parliament are worried its Islamist extremist leaders are trying to control the country with sharia law, and should be more concerned with the country’s social unrest and economic troubles than focusing on porn.

In 2009, a similar porn ban was decided by the courts under former President Hosni Mubarak's rule, but never enforced.

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