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Egyptian Government Set To Ban Online Pornography

Egypt is preparing to ban internet pornography, with the first steps towards a blockade now being taken.

According to a report in the Egypt Independent, the concept of pornography censorship was recently discussed in parliament, and has now progressed to the National Telecommunications Regulation Authority.

The Minister of Telecommunications and Information Technology, Mohamed Salem, has announced the formation of a committee to discuss the methods of implementing the ban.

Salem noted that "Parliament will be represented in the committee", and observed that the millions of adult websites out there were an issue which "is becoming persistent and worrying to families."

Naturally, the issue of underage visitors to adult sites is a worry, but there is of course software and parental control measures which can be used on the family computer to ensure this doesn't happen.

Furthermore, the People's Assembly Transportation and Telecommunications Committee is pressing not just for a ban on pornographic websites in Egypt, but legislation to punish service providers who allow access to such sites.

The Next Web notes that several Egyptian ISPs do already offer internet filters to block indecent content, although none of this seems good enough for the harder line members of Parliament.

A similar ban was recently attempted in Tunisia, but that failed due to the obvious danger. Namely, when government censorship begins in earnest, it's difficult to draw the line at what could be banned for being morally offensive. In other words, in the end, net freedom is at stake.