Cairo – In mid-2015, a draft cyber bill was submitted and later approved by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, that has resulted in internet users in Egypt could face severe prison sentences and fines for online activity varying from “extremist thought,” “subversive attitude” to “spreading false news” in the already-troubled country.
In an interview with media anchor, Ahmed Musa, on his night program, “On my Responsibility,” General Ali Abaza, Director-General of the National Network for Cyberspace Control, said that the debated surveillance on “Facebook,” proposed by Intelligence Reports, is directly subject to certain legal regulations, including obtaining an official warranty from the Public Prosecution to execute any related operation.
He added that we do not need to watch everyone on Facebook simply because they publish and share material that can be viewed by everyone on the public network. It is perfectly fine, and the law does not incriminate such an activity. We are only after pages that intend in any way to harm Egypt through subversive material.
Gen. ‘Abaza’ affirmed that Egypt is a country that respects the rule of law, and seeks to protect the constitutional rights of its own citizens.
He added: “Through our services in the Ministry of Interior, we reiterate our keen commitment to protect the lives, privacy and dignity of all Egyptian citizens.
He stressed that: “As for the hype over the National Network’s activities, in fact, it is not concerned with watching over personal pages or websites on the Internet as many may think, but rather, it tracks public pages which are somewhat suspicious or malicious, and that of course, after the public prosecutor grants us a warrant from to do so.”
Abaza pointed out that the National Network in coordination with the Homeland Security, are keeping watchful eyes on Facebook pages with extremist leanings or offering publicity for terrorist entities. He added that we track those and pinpoint their exact locations, and eventually arrest them on cybercrimes charges. All the aforementioned procedures take place in accordance with the law. He also hinted that the so-called Ghalaba Movement (or Movement of the Poor), also known as 11/11, was incited and organized by Muslim Brotherhood, and primarily run by fugitives from the outlawed group.