News

Egyptian Parliament Passes New Law to ‘Fight Fake News’

Egyptian Parliament Passes New Law to ‘Fight Fake News’

Credit: Arab News

Egypt’s parliament passed a new controversial law on Monday that will allow authorities to block social media accounts and penalize journalists for publishing fake news, as reported by Reuters.

Social media accounts and blogs with more than 5,000 followers will be monitored by the Supreme Council for the Administration of Media and be subject of media laws that criminalize the spreading of fake news or “inciting people to violate laws”.

The bill, which was upheld by two-thirds of parliament’s 596 members, will now be sent to President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi to be ratified.

The new law will also block websites that were established without a license from the Supreme Council and will only allow journalists to film in government permitted areas.

Additionally, the Parliament added a new article that would jail, for up to five years, individuals who import satellite transmitters outside official channels.

Sherif Mansour, Middle East and North Africa programme coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists, stated that the vagueness of the law gives more power to authorities to interpret the law.

“That power of interpretation has been a constant powerful legal and executive legal tool that was used to justify excessive aggressive and exceptional measures to go after journalists,” he notified Reuters.

Last year, Amnesty International noted that Egypt has already blocked 500 websites and arrested a number of journalists and critics for ‘disrupting public order’ and ‘spreading fake news’.

The battle against ‘fake news’ has been circling around the world recently, from President Donald Trump’s regular accusations to laws passed by countries like Malaysia earlier this year that also criminalized the spread of fake news.

President Emmanuel Macron also put forward a bill to the parliament on June 7 to fight the threat of fake news, and it is expected to come into force before next spring.

Nevertheless, critics warn of the danger to freedom of expression and the media, and assert that this broadens the government’s powers rather than solve the actual problem.

Egypt's House of Representatives Approves a $500 Million Loan to Reform Education
Egyptian Military Officers May Receive Immunity Over 2013 Muslim Brotherhood Crackdown

Subscribe to our newsletter


News

More in News

Egypt Praises ‘Brave’ Saudi Investigation into Killing of Khashoggi in Saudi Consulate

Mirna AbdulaalOctober 20, 2018

Egypt Man Presses Charges Against Wife for FGM of their Two Daughters

Egyptian StreetsOctober 20, 2018

Algeria Bans the Niqab in the Workplace

Mirna AbdulaalOctober 19, 2018

Khashoggi ‘Died After Fight’ Says Saudi Arabia

Egyptian StreetsOctober 19, 2018

Putin: Russia to Resume Flights to Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh in the Nearest Time

Mirna AbdulaalOctober 19, 2018

Egypt Qualifies for the 2019 African Cup of Nations

Mirna AbdulaalOctober 17, 2018

Egyptian Army: 450 Terrorists Killed in Sinai Offensive

Mirna AbdulaalOctober 16, 2018

Australia Slammed for Considering Moving Embassy to Jerusalem

Egyptian StreetsOctober 16, 2018
Egyptian Streets is an independent, young, and grass roots news media organization aimed at providing readers with an alternate depiction of events that occur on Egyptian and Middle Eastern streets, and to establish an engaging social platform for readers to discover and discuss the various issues that impact the region.

© 2017 Egyptian Streets. All Rights Reserved.