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Egypt bans access to online pornography

By IANS/RIA Novosti,

Cairo : Egyptian authorities have decided to enforce a ban on websites with pornographic content, a spokesman for the Prosecutor General’s office said.

According to the spokesman, Prosecutor General Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud Wednesday sent letters to telecommunications, information and interior ministries with orders to implement a three-year-old court ruling that denounced online pornography as “venomous and vile”.

“The decision has been made in line with legislation concerning the use of online resources and the ban on sinful and vulgar images that contradict with values and traditions of the Egyptian people…,” the spokesman said.

The move comes under growing pressure from ultraconservative Muslim groups that rose to power in Egypt in the wake of the 18-day uprising that toppled the regime of Hosni Mubarak last year.

Salafist Muslims have launched a grassroots campaign dubbed ‘Pure Net’ to prohibit adult websites as they “violate Egyptian customs and values”.

Egyptian liberals, however, have voiced concern about the negative impact the current decision might have on the freedom of expression in the country that has been steadily steering towards stronger influence of strict Islamic law, the Shariat, on the lives of Egyptian citizens.