Egyptian Activists in Frenzy Over New Law to Monitor Social Media

Published September 2nd, 2018 - 05:00 GMT
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi speaking during a meeting with Sudanese politicians, thinkers, and journalists. (AFP/File)
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi speaking during a meeting with Sudanese politicians, thinkers, and journalists. (AFP/File)

Egypt seems to be intensifying its crackdown on opponents with a new law. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has approved the legislation, authorizing officials to monitor social media users.

As reported by the official gazette on Saturday, the new law gives state authorities the right to monitor the activities of social media users on the internet.

The legislation, it said, places social media accounts with over 5,000 followers under the supervision of the Supreme Council for the Administration of the Media.

That means any popular blog, website or even account on Facebook, Twitter or other platforms, could be considered a media outlet and subject to the supervision of the media regulator which could block them for spreading fake news.

The controversial law was passed in the parliament back in July.

Critics argue that it increase state power to crack down on opposition activists.

Human rights groups have on numerous occasions criticized Egypt for its tough approach towards opponents.

The Sisi government has silenced most critics in the media, rolled back social freedoms, and placed draconian restrictions on demonstrations and the work of rights groups.

Tens of thousands of people have been detained since 2013, when the military, led by Sisi, overthrew Mohamed Morsi.

Morsi, Egypt's first democratically-elected president, came to power after the 2011 uprising toppled long-time autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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