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Egyptian prosecution orders websites hosting 'dangerous' Blue Whale game to be banned

Ahram Online , Saturday 21 Apr 2018
Blue Whale
The Blue Challenge (Photo: Reuters)
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Egypt’s prosecutor-general has ordered authorities to carry out necessary measures to ban websites that transmit the Blue Whale and similar online games, after it was linked to several Egyptian teens’ deaths.

According to a prosecution statement on Saturday, Prosecutor-General Nabil Sadek ordered the National Telecom Regulatory Authority to ban such websites, describing the games as “one that resemble danger as they target youngsters and lead them to follow orders and levels of self or family harm.”

“The issue sometimes leads to suicide or homicide crimes; this undermines the security and safety of a large sector of Egyptian families,” the statement said, describing the matter as one that was related to national security and the country’s higher interests.

Sadek mandated the NTRA to provide information about any local websites that could be in contact with international websites presenting such games, and called for service providers to block such “foreign websites” from the country.

The statement called on parents to observe their children and not leave them abandoned with such games “which are broadcast from abroad by misfit people who target inexperienced teenagers.”

“The general prosecution will use all means through international agreements for judicial cooperation to identify those people,” the prosecution concluded, vowing to hold those accountable.

The game reportedly starts with the player being assigned simple tasks such as waking up at a certain time and watching horror movies.

However, the tasks gradually become more severe to challenge the player's capabilities, and threatens blackmail if they do not comply.

On Friday, a 17-year-old Egyptian teen in Upper Egypt’s Sohag governorate set her house ablaze, reportedly on orders by the game’s admins, killing her mother and brother.

In another prominent case, 18-year-old Khaled El-Fakharany -- the son of former Egyptian MP Hamdy El-Fakharany – was found dead from hanging in his home in Gharbeya governorate on 2 April.

El-Fakharany's death was reportedly linked to the game.  

 

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