Previously this month we wrote that many websites were blocked in Egypt. According to an update from an Egyptian human rights and free speech advocacy group more than 100 websites were also blocked in the country.
The Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE) informs that 103 sites were restricted in the country including news and media sites.
Most of the blocking that’s happened in the interim continues to target news organizations, the AFTE said. The cumulative total to date is nearly double the number of overall digital rights and media freedom incidents the watchdog group documented in the first quarter of this year. Egypt imposed a three-month state of emergency in April following bombing attacks on Coptic Christian churches.
News organizations including Daily News Egypt, Al Borsa and Mada Masr have used alternative domains as they push back against the blackout. “We publish what authorities don’t want people to read,” said Mada Masr editor Lina Attallah in a recent interview with Amnesty International.
Mada Masr reported Wednesday that a telecommunications ministry source confirms the Egyptian government, not just the ISP providers, is actively blocking the sites, likely from a center in Cairo.
“The blocking of websites violates the Egyptian Constitution,”
AFTE said, noting that neither Egypt’s anti-terrorism nor its telecommunication laws justify the censorship. Amnesty, in a review of more than 60 blocked websites – 76 percent of them news outlets – found only one site connected to groups that use or advocate violence.
Now many Internet users are using a VPN solution to access blocked sites and resources.
VPN channel is an encrypted secured tunnel between user’s computer and vpn server. VPN helps to stay secure and anonymous and bypass any kind of Internet filters.