CAIRO: Egypt’s parliament has handed a regulation giving the state powers to block social media debts and penalize newshounds held to be publishing fake information.
Under the law handed on Monday, social media accounts and blogs with greater than 5,000 followers on sites which include Twitter and facebook might be dealt with as media outlets, which makes them situation to prosecution for publishing fake information or incitement to interrupt the regulation.
The splendid Council for the management of the Media, headed via an professional appointed with the aid of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, will supervise the regulation and take motion against violations.
The bill prohibits the established order of web sites with out acquiring a license from the excellent Council and permits it to suspend or block existing web sites, or impose fines on editors.
The law, which takes effect after it’s far ratified with the aid of Sisi, also states that journalists can handiest film in places that aren’t prohibited however does no longer provide an explanation for in addition.
Supporters of Sisi say the law is intended to shield freedom of expression and it turned into authorised after consultations with judicial experts and reporters.
However critics say it’s going to give criminal basis to measures the government has been taking to crack down on dissent and make bigger its manipulate over social media.
Sherif Mansour, center East and North Africa programme coordinator for the Committee to defend newshounds, stated the vague wording of the regulation permits authorities to interpret violations and manage the media.
“That strength of interpretation has been a consistent powerful felony and executive tool that was used to justify excessive competitive and extremely good measures to go after newshounds,” he advised Reuters.
Hundreds of information websites and blogs had been blocked in current months and around a dozen humans had been arrested this year and charged with publishing false information, many of them newshounds or distinguished government critics.