Egypt MPs call for 'containing dangers' of Facebook

Gamal Essam El-Din , Monday 4 Apr 2016

The speaker of Egypt's parliament said new legislation will be passed to 'contain the dangers of Facebook' regarding national security


Upon the request of many MPs in a plenary session on Monday, the speaker of Egypt's parliament Ali Abdel-Al said that there should be new legislation aimed at prosecuting certain users on Facebook and other social media networks.

According to an urgent statement by Gamal Abdel-Nasser, an Upper Egypt MP, "parliament should move quickly to draft new legislation aimed at containing the excesses of Facebook."

"The West has sold us this Facebook to extort us and launch an assault on our personal and national security freedoms," said Abdel-Nasser.

Abdel-Nasser also demanded that Minister of Interior Magdi Abdel-Ghaffar and Minister of Telecommunications Yasser Al-Qadi intervene to limit Facebook, especially in terms of safeguarding the national security of Egypt.

"Those who use Facebook to write things that are highly dangerous to our national security should be arrested and referred to trial," said Abdel-Nasser.

In response, parliament speaker Abdel-Al indicated that legislation should be passed by parliament to regulate the use of Facebook in Egypt.

Abdel-Nasser's request came just a few hours after Egyptian prosecutors ordered the arrest of leftist journalist Khaled Al-Balshi for "slandering" the interior ministry on his Facebook account.

Abdel-Al also ordered that MPs not open any debate on the murder of Italian student Giulio Regeni under mysterious circumstances in Cairo last January.

"I order a veto be imposed on this issue," said Abdel-Al, urging MP Mohamed Badrawi, the parliamentary spokesperson of the National Movement Party, and other MPs not to open any discussion on this issue in parliament.

Badrawi had told reporters that he wanted to put the murder of Regeni up for an open debate in parliament "in the same way the EU parliament opened it for a debate last month."

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