House ICT Committee looks to enforce harsher punishment for defamation, copyright infringement
The Cyber Crimes Act, currently with the House of Representatives’ ICT Committee, punishes those guilty of online defamation and libel with jail time, Al Borsa reports. The legislation currently mandates a prison sentence of up to one year, but members of the committee, including its deputy chair, would like this increased to three years. The committee voted to approve three articles of the act today which allow the government to block websites if it deems it a danger to national security, according to Egypt Independent. Separately, the committee is looking to amend Egypt’s copyright laws to impose harsher penalties for pirating television shows and movies, committee head John Talaat said, Al Mal reports. According to Talaat, the government is wary of imposing harsher penalties since piracy is widespread in Egypt and many citizens are unaware that it is illegal.