Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has ratified an anti-cybercrime law that rights groups say paves the way for censoring online media.
The law, published Saturday in the country’s official gazette, empowers authorities to order the blocking of websites that publish content considered a threat to national security. Viewers attempting to access blocked sites can also be sentenced to one year in prison or fined up to EGP100,000 ($5,593) under the law.
Last month, Egypt’s parliament approved a bill placing personal social media accounts and websites with over 5,000 followers under the supervision of the top media authority, which can block them if they’re found to be disseminating false news.
Amnesty International criticized the legislations in a July statement saying they “give the state near-total control over print, online and broadcast media.”