Egypt branded 'enemy of the net' by RSF

The United Nations has come under fire from Reporters Without Borders for choosing Egypt as the location for this week's annual Internet Governance Forum.

The group brands Egypt as one of the “enemies of the internet” due to the government’s track record for “repeated violations of online free expression."
 
UN security demanded the removal of a poster promoting a book by the OpenNet Initiative (ONI) during a forum session this week. The poster mentioned internet censorship and China's Great Firewall.

The UN said that it had received complaints about the poster and that it had not been “pre-approved.”

”If we are not allowed to discuss topics such as internet censorship, surveillance and privacy at a forum on internet governance, then what is the point of the IGF?” said ONI co-founder Ron Deibert.

Deibert said that he had been asked by the UN special rapporteur For Human Rights, who witnessed the removal, to send a formal letter of complaint.
 
The event, now in its fourth year, brings together global internet stakeholders, including ICANN, to discuss issues including security and accessibility.
 
RSF said that “if internet governance requires a degree of regulation, it should be of a liberal nature and not the kind that the Egyptian government would like to impose.”
 
Apart from the removal of the ONI posted, it cited three other incidents in the last month of the Egyptian hostility to internet free speech.
 

In one example the group alleges that in early November police arrested two bloggers, Mohamed Adel, 20, and Amr Osama, 19, on charges of “spreading false news and rumors liable to disturb the peace” and gave them a beating after taking them to a police station. 

 

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