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Egypt Moves To Ban Online Pornography

Posted: November 7, 2012

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Egypt and other countries in the Arab world have never permitted pornography, though individuals can sometimes gain online access. Now Egypt's prosecutor is calling for a crackdown on all Internet porn.

With Islamist groups growing more influential, Egypt's state prosecutor on Wednesday ordered a ban on Internet pornography, citing an earlier ruling that hadn't been implemented.

Throughout the Arab Muslim world, pornography is not permitted, though in Egypt and some other places the government has not actively tried to prevent access to online sites.

The state prosecutor, Abdel Maguid Mahmoud, came out in support of an online ban, saying such websites are "inconsistent with the values and traditions of the Egyptian people and the higher interests of the state."

Since Egypt's revolution last year, Islamist groups have dominated elections and have become increasingly vocal on issues of morality.

However, some Egyptians said that the latest move could lead to increased online censorship in other areas.

Mona Eltahawy, an Egyptian-American activist, sent a tweet saying "I'm not arguing w anyone about porn but know this: "ban" porn sites today, ban your sites tomorrow. #Egypt".

An Egyptian court said in 2009 that Internet pornography should be banned, but the government did not act on the ruling.

Last spring, technology experts estimated the costs of such a ban would weigh in around $16.5 million, according to Ahram Online.

(Sophia Jones is an intern with NPR News)

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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