Egypt state prosecutor Abdel Meguid Mahmud has ordered a ban on Internet pornography according to an official statement from his office. The attempt isn’t the first of its kind though as a previous court order was never put into effect, nor was a similar proposal in the Egyptian Parliament earlier this year.
The order was allegedly handed down following a protest yesterday by conservative Muslims called Salafis. This group has launched a campaign known as “Pure Net” with the intent of blocking access to pornographic websites, according to an official at the prosecutor’s office that asked to remain anonymous.
The online version of the Al-Ahram newspaper said the order was specifically directed at information, interior and telecommunications ministries that would potentially have the power to block pornographic images and videos on the web.
In 2009, a Cairo court sided with an Islamist lawyer with regards to pornographic websites. The lawyer said such content was destructive to Egypt and ruined moral values. The court noted that freedoms of expression and public rights should be restricted by maintaining fundamentals of religion, morality and patriotism.
It remains to be seen if new Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi will make any sort of effort to enforce this order. USA Today says the previous attempts all failed due to the high cost associated with enforcing such a ban. There’s no doubt it would take a large sum of money to fund a project to block the thousands of websites and pages deemed inappropriate on the Internet.