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Internet Porn Banned In Egypt – Activists Ask What’s Next

Internet Porn Banned In Egypt – Activists Ask What’s Next

A recent court order has barred Egyptian citizens from browsing the net looking for pornography, and ordered the state to block X-rated websites completely. In many ways, this is indicative of the larger cultural struggle currently taking place in Egypt. Many Islamists would like to see the country subject to sharia law.

The LA Times quoted the court’s reasoning behind the verdict:

Pornographic websites emit “poisons in spreading immorality” that “destroy all religious beliefs, ethics and moral values,” the court said in its verdict. ”Not blocking them destroys. . .values. This can’t be considered in the frame of freedom of expression because what’s shown on these websites harms the country’s higher interests and its national and social security.”

Human rights activists have criticized the ruling. Some say it’s a waste of government resources, while others worry about the implications for freedom of expression. If it’s permissible to ban pornography now, will courts find it acceptable to censor controversial political opinions in the future?

This is a question of particular concern in Egypt, where former President Hosni Mubarak had the internet across the country shut down in order to prevent activists from organizing last year.

Ramy Raoof, an online activist speaking to the AP about the decision, criticized the ruling as impractical, not specific enough to be effective, and questioned who would be determining which sites were offensive. He also had this to say about the stated purpose of the law: “Censorship presumes that citizens are dumb and lack knowledge, and that the state must carry out that role for them because it knows better,” he said. “If you want to protect people from trouble, it is never through withholding information.”

Experts are calling the law “useless” and estimating that it will cost the government up to $16.5 million to implement. What do Care2 readers think of the ban?

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Photo credit: Peter Huys via Flickr

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13 comments

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4:55AM PDT on Aug 29, 2012

Why should the law hardy hell the next generation?

Huber F.

9:07AM PDT on Jun 29, 2012

If anyone considers that porn has done a huge service to any community and is therefore an essential part of their living then I think there is a delusional man or a woman. It is all to do with exploitation and profiting from other's misfortunes.

In some cases, there may be consenting adults BUT not always ... some people and minors are exploited and even killed due to the wicked trade that benefits a few but damages a lot more.

This is my opinion and I same as others am entitled to that. Egyptians have freely chosen their leaders knowing full well what their agendas were despite a huge amount of bleating on Care2 from the Islamophobes.

Now if you will ALLOW PLEASE and let them go for a predetermined term and then judge them. Peoples choice, their decision, their rulers --- others PLEASE shut up and let them carry on.

10:02PM PDT on May 1, 2012

So what's porn gonna do, make people HAPPY? OMG we can't have THAT!!!!

8:11PM PDT on May 1, 2012

And here is the core of why revolutions always fail - the vacuum. The first thing that pops into the collective unconscious is not reason, but whatever most completely gives the sense of a complete system. In the case of most societies, it is rejectionism, purification fetishes and fundamentalism.
And no, this is not unique to Islam, the same thing can be seen of the Calvinist fundamentalism of the Puritans that were a large part of the corporate colonies that became the USA, in many of the worse-off megaslums of Hindu India, of the Israeli Jews, the Russian Orthodox following the collapse of the USSR - the list goes on and on.

The vacuum is a very, very bad place for any large group of humans to find itself. Lord of the Flies scenarios follow.

9:48AM PDT on May 1, 2012

A Zionist speaks:--

Fred K

"They should also make up with Israel before they lose Sinai again."

Just one more crack in the aggressive and colonising facade of Zionism for all to see.

9:08AM PDT on May 1, 2012

Thank you for the article...

6:54AM PDT on May 1, 2012

I can see that being tried here - and in the not too distant future if the religious right gets their way.

6:53AM PDT on May 1, 2012

Next is banning the direct online democracy that can do away with military dictators and corrupt politicians.

6:44AM PDT on May 1, 2012

When government fights porn, porn always wins.

5:48AM PDT on May 1, 2012

Those "Moolsims" just can't be trusted, eh? If they ban porn, they'll ban democracy next. That's what the article is actually saying. If these sort of arguments had been made when (only a few years ago) much of Europe banned porn, then I might give them pause for thought. However, to me the sentiments expressed are alarmist and the reporting of them simply tends to reinforce negative images of Muslims, especially in the usage of the loaded terms here such as "Islamists".

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