CAIRO: Egypt’s Cabinet approved Saturday a draft law to combat cyber-related crimes, Youm7 reported.
The law provides a specific definition of cybercrime and includes new types and range of online activities that were not previously criminalized by Egyptian law, Assistant Minister of Justice for the legislation deptartment Judge Hassan Badrawi told Youm7 Saturday.
“The new law allows authorities to confiscate equipment used in cyber-related crimes, shut down places where the crimes were committed, and delete websites that are harmful to Egypt’s national security,” said Badrawi.
The law also clarifies the parameters for those crimes, as well as the criminal responsibility of the person or authority committing them, said Badrawi adding that “harsh” punishments have been included in the new law, without providing further details.
The law comes amid the Egyptian government’s concerns over social media sites which, in some cases, have been used by pro-Muslim Brotherhood groups to incite violence and “destabilize Egypt’s stability,” according to Badrawi.
In July 2014, the Ministry of Interior has arrested several social media users and facebook pages’ administrators for spreading contact information and photos of police officers participated in the country’s crackdown against pro-Muslim Brotherhood, according to al-Masry al-Youm.
In August, Attorney General Hisham Barakat ordered a probe into a Facebook page called “Popular Resistance Movement” which reportedly “incites against state institutions and calls for assaulting army and police personnel,” Al-Ahram reported.
In November, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has issued a decree approving Egypt’s accession to the Arab Convention to Combat Cyber Crimes, according to the Egyptian State Information Service (SIS.)
The decree aims to enhance cooperation among Arab states to fight cyber crimes in order to maintain Arab national security.