The Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression “AFTE” monitors the blocking of websites in Egypt:
From 24 May to 13 June, the AFTE monitored the blocking of a number of websites in Egypt. A group of Egyptian newspapers licensed to work in Egypt has been blocked. In its monitoring, AFTE has adopted a set of technical standards to ensure that:
1. The Foundation has relied on the OONI tool of the Tor Project 2, a free software and observatory that acts as a network for the detection, control and intervention of Internet data passage .
The tool enables tests to ensure site blocking, as well as another series of network tests.
2- AFTE has tested access to blocked sites through a variety of Internet service providers in Egypt (TE Data, Vodafone, Orange, Etisalat, LINKdotNET, Noor). The Foundation has used the Tor browser and various proxy services and websites and VPN service, on the networks mentioned, to ensure the work sites from outside Egypt.
3 -The organization has continued with users – either directly or on social networks – from 6 networks to ensure their access to blocked sites.
also association followed user’s posts on social networks reporting their inability to access certain websites.
4-AFTE monitored the blocking of 64 Websites in the period from 24 May to 13 June 2017،On Monday, June 12, we noticed that you started blocking a group of sites offering a VPN service. A practice that can predict the government’s intention to continue blocking and filtering content that Egyptian users can access.
5-The blockage of some sites affected other sites on the same scale. For example, it was noted that against the background of the blocking of Al-Jazeera’s Arabic site, the site blocked 10 other sites using subdomains from Aljazeera.net
6-Some of the blocked websites are affiliated with licensed newspapers such as Daily News Egypt, the Stock Exchange and almasryoon, some of which are issued by registered companies in Egypt (MadaMasr and Masrelarabia). It is also noted that the state dealt naturally with many blocked sites during previous periods, for example, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi wrote two articles in the Daily News Egypt, the first in 2014 and the second in 2015.
7-Some blocked sites have used alternate scopes to override this blocking:
The Daily News used thedailynewsegypt.com instead of dailynewsegypt.comAl-Borsa newspaper used elborsanews.com instead of alborsanews.comEl Masryoun used elmesryoon.com instead of almesryoon.com
This is the blocked websites which had been monitored by AFTE:
The law of blockage in egypt:The blocking of websites violates the Egyptian Constitution. The prohibition violates the freedom of the media, the non-suspension of their work, the right of the public to know and access to information.
Most of these sites are news sites, which constitute a clear attack and restriction on the media. It contradicts the provisions of Article 57 of the Constitution, which states: “The State shall also protect the right of citizens to use public ways of communications in all its forms and may not be blocked or closed”. Or arbitrarily deprive them of their rights. The law also regulates this. “It also contradicts Article 71 of the Constitution:” It is prohibited in any way to censor, confiscate, suspend or close the Egyptian newspapers and media. Specific control may be excluded in time of war or general mobilization. “Conclusion and recommendations :The Egyptian government must respect the freedom of opinion and expression and stop the decision to block media and press sites that have been blocked.The Egyptian government must stop using legal provisions that are not commensurate with the constitution in restricting freedom of expression and freedom of information circulation.The Egyptian government should disclose the decision of the banning or the public prosecution if the decision is issued based on its investigations.Telecommunications companies that provide users with service should disclose the reasons for the blocking of the sites and adhere to their responsibility towards their customers.The Syndicate of Journalists and the Supreme Council of Media must play their role in confronting the assault on press freedom and protecting the public’s right in knowledge.