The blocking of websites still continues with banning Human Rights Watch (HRW) raising the total number of banned websites to 429, according to the latest report by the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE).
On 24 May, the Egyptian authorities started blocking news websites on alleged claims of “supporting terrorism”.
In a span of 3 months, the blockade expanded from news websites to banning VPN sites, websites of non-profit organizations and personal blogs of journalists.
Among the blocked websites are the independent news website Mada Masr and the privately-owned Daily News Egypt.
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) and Reporters Without Borders (RWB) websites have also been blocked.
Also, the blog of Ahmed Gamal Ziada, a writer for Masr Alarabia, researcher, and photojournalist, has been blocked preventing readers in Egypt from accessing his blog.
261 VPN and proxy websites have been banned on 29 August followed by another 17 VPN websites. among the blocked VPN websites are Tunnelbear, Cyberghost, Hotspot Shield Elite VPN (Hsselite), Tigervpn and Zenvpn among many others.
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression, David Kaye, and the Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, Fionnuala Ní Aloáin, today raised grave concerns with the Government of Egypt over its ongoing assault on freedom of expression.
“Limiting information as the Egyptian Government has done, without any transparency or identification of the asserted ‘lies’ or ‘terrorism’, looks more like repression than counter-terrorism,” they said in the report.
During blocking tests, it was indicated that there might be Internet monitoring through Vodafone network, according to AFTEs report.
The blockade measure is considered unconstitutional as it violates Article 57 stipulating the freedom of media and public’s right to know and to access information.