Egypt Poised to Block Porn Sites

Apr 2, 2013 10:30 AM PST

CAIRO — Egypt is on the brink of blocking access to porn sites in the country. 

The National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) said ISPs have been installing filtering technology at a cost of close to $3.7 million since the beginning of the year.

"Technologies to prevent pornographic content from being shared on the territory of Egypt are fully ready for use," NTRA deputy head Sherif Hashem said.

He added that its now only a matter of time until judicial authorities lay down a set of rules to determine what websites should be banned.

According to Egypt Independent, dozens of ultraconservative Salafis demonstrated last Saturday in front of the High Court in downtown Cairo as part of what they called “the youth plan to block pornographic sites.”

Last November, the Salafis launched the “Pure Net” campaign backed by chief prosecutor Abdel Maguid Mahmoud who said porn on the Internet is "inconsistent with the values and traditions of the Egyptian people and the higher interests of the state."

But Hashem is pressuring the authorities to explain just what sites are to be banned. “There is no such thing as blocking such sites as a whole, but they must be specified,” he explained.

The new push for the ban comes in the wake of the Cairo Administrative Court's May 2009 ruling to ban porn sites that "help spread vice, which destroys traditions, beliefs and morals, and therefore the country's interests, as well as social and national security.”

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