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Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Cyber Crimes Act forces service providers to hold user data for 180 days

LEGISLATION WATCH- Cyber Crimes Act forces service providers to hold user data for 180 days: It appears that the Cyber Crimes Act, which grants the government widespread oversight on internet activity, is following in the footsteps of the Ride-Hailing Apps Act, mandating that internet service providers hold user data and records of web activity for a period 180 days, according to Al Mal. Article 2 of the act states that all ISPs must hold on to all records of internet activity, including voice calls, browsing content, and IP addresses used, among others. While the law does hold this data to be confidential, ISPs must grant access to this data if authorities come calling or if the requested by the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority — which is designated as the primary regulatory body enforcing the law.

Other features of the law includes granting the government the right to block certain websites under Article 7. Under Article 30, the law imposes prison sentences of no less than one year and fines of up to EGP 200k on anyone who creates, manages or uses a website or an online account aiming to commit or facilitate a crime. We anticipate heavy criticisms and concerns over user privacy from the foreign press in the days to come.

Parliament to hold final vote on the law today: The House of Representatives gave a preliminary nod yesterday to the Cyber Crimes Act but postponed the final vote to today due to lack of quorum, Al Masry Al Youm reports.

In other legislative news, parliament also approved the Food Cart Act during its plenary session yesterday, Ahram Gate reports. The 17-clause bill, which governs permits, equipment, location, and food safety standards, imposes an annual fee on food cart owners of no more than EGP 5,000 for a three-year, renewable permit. Vendors will also be exempt from paying taxes in the first three-year period. MPs also gave their final approval yesterday to legislation governing clinical trials and another on social housing, according to Al Mal. They also signed off on legislation allowing the oil minister to sign oil exploration and production agreements in North Sinai and the Western Desert, according to Ahram Gate.

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