Egypt to block websites linked to 'terrorism'

Ahram Online , Tuesday 17 Feb 2015

It is not yet clear what will constitute a website related to terrorism, a cabinet spokesman tells Ahram Online

Egypt`s Prime Minster Ibrahim Mahlab meeting with all the ministers in an 'urgent' meeting on Saturday amid terrorist attacks (Photo: Courtesy of the official Facebook page of the Egyptian Cabinet)

Egypt's premier Ibrahim Mahlab is forming a committee to study possible amendments to national security laws in order to remove websites linked to "terrorism", cabinet spokesperson Hossam Kawish has told Ahram Online.

The committee's recommendations will help courts to issue verdicts to remove any content on the Internet that is related to "terrorism", Kawish explained.

"The committee is to meet in the coming days," he said.

The committee is to be headed by justice minister Mahfouz Saber and to be made up of representatives from the ministries of interior, defence, military production, foreign affairs and communications.

According to Kawish, it is not yet clear what criteria the committee will follow to determine whether or not a website's content relates to "terrorism".       

In early February, Egypt called on the international community to “monitor extremist websites that incite violence and terrorism, and to halt broadcasting channels linked to the Muslim Brotherhood."

Egypt is battling militant group Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis in the governorate of North Sinai. In late 2014, the group swore allegiance to Islamic State (IS), which first made its appearance in Syria and now controls large swathes of both Syria and Iraq.

After IS released a video showing the group beheading 21 Copts in Libya on Sunday, Egypt's army conducted airstrikes against IS locations in coordination with the Libyan army early on Monday, according to the Libyan army.

The Egyptian army has released footage of its operations.

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