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MP calls for regulating social media, ‘especially Facebook’ - Daily News Egypt

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MP calls for regulating social media, ‘especially Facebook’

Egypt recently blocked a Facebook service, purportedly for not allowing it to spy on users, according to Reuters

The parliament is set to discuss a legislation to regulate the use of social media after a member of parliament made a request to the speaker to bring the matter to discussion.

MP Gamal Abdel Nasser made a statement in the Monday session saying that social media was meant to create a democratic societal dialogue, but that “it crossed all the red lines”.

The member told Daily News Egypt that social media websites have turned into an “environment of privacy breaches, threats and inciting violence … especially Facebook.”

“The [parliament] speaker agreed with me,” he added.

Abdel Nasser called for strengthened penalties for “violators” who breach the privacy of others and use social media to slander others “and also those who threaten national security”.

Parliament speaker Ali Abdul Aal responded to the member’s request, saying the parliament will introduce a legislation to regulate the use of social media.

Reuters reported on Friday that Egyptian authorities had recently blocked Facebook’s Free Basics internet service when the company refused to allow the government to spy on users of the service.

Free Basics is a service offered by the social media website that aims to allow low-income internet users to access Facebook and the internet, where they would not have previously been able to.

The report said that the service had been introduced in Egypt in October, but was suspended on December, with the government claiming that telecom provider Etisalat had only obtained a temporary permit for the launch of Free Basics.

Several media outlets reported in June 2014 that the Ministry of Interior was devising a mass surveillance programme that placed all means of communications, including private online messages, under the ministry’s scrutiny, without the need for a warrant.

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