Egypt gets ready to ban online porn

For many, online pornography is just another handy (*giggle*) convenience offered by the web. For some, porn is celebrated as a driving force in the development of web technologies and online economies. For others, however, pornography is viewed as a destructive force in society, one that has had a negative effect on individuals, families and even communities.

Authorities in Egypt appear to be positioning themselves firmly in the latter category; The Next Web cites a report from domestic news source Egypt Independent, claiming that the country’s Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology is now taking its first steps towards a nationwide ban on internet porn. Mohamed Salem, Minister for Telecoms and IT, recently announced the formation of a committee which will assess and report on the practicalities of implementing such a ban.

Last month, Dr Younis Makhioun, a member of parliament from Egypt’s conservative Al-Nour party, introduced the idea of a blanket ban on all internet porn. Created in the wake of last year’s political revolution, which culminated in the ousting of then-President Hosni Mubarak, Al-Nour follows strict Islamist ideologies, governed by adherence to Sharia law. Dr Makhioun underlined the need for Egyptians to follow these religiously enshrined edicts, expressing his belief that pornography has eroded the morality of the country’s youth, and undermined family values, resulting in an increase in divorce and rape.

Minister Salem voiced similar concerns, stating that the issue of online pornography “is becoming persistent and worrying to families”, while the country’s Parliamentary Committee for Transportation and Telecommunications called for sites offering such content to be blocked, demanding legislation that would see internet service providers punished for failing to adequately suppress content deemed inappropriate.

The role of Sharia law in the nation’s future has been a hot topic in Egypt recently. Only yesterday, a group of liberal MPs walked out of a parliamentary vote, accusing conservative Islamist parties of attempting to assume control of a panel creating Egypt’s new constitution. While BBC News reported that these conservative MPs have tried to calm concerns that they seek to impose strict Sharia laws on the country, proposals such as the one to ban online porn appear to contradict these claims.

Previous Story
Report: Internet film viewing to surpass disc viewing in 2012
Next Story
MegaUpload hit with lawsuit by New Zoo Revue owners