Egyptian Parliament
Egypt MP proposes charging for Facebook
In an effort to combat online extremism and terrorism, an Egyptian MP is proposing a fee be paid in order for people to use Facebook, so that the state may 'enforce control and preserve the security and stability of the homeland.'
Egyptian MP Riad Abd a-Sattar of the Free Egyptians Party has proposed charging people for using Facebook in the country.



During an interview with Egyptian news website "Al-Barlamani," the Egyptian legislator said, "If the national security of the country is being harmed, do not ask me about human rights. Social media networks have begun harming national security in the country and must be supervised in light of what is happening and their use by terrorists, the Muslim Brotherhood and others who incite extremism and anarchy in the country."


Egypt's parliament
Egypt's parliament


A-Sattar said he was working on a bill that would legally regulate the status of social media networks, first and foremost, Facebook.


"The monthly subscription should cost 200 Egyptian pounds (NIS 40) or a price set by the state—even if it is a symbolic price."


According to the Egyptian legislator, the purpose of his bill is to reduce or limit the users of social media networks completely through a contract between the user and the state.


A-Sattar's proposal has been met with wide criticism, with one prominent Egyptian human rights campaigner saying, "Imagine having to explain to a member of parliament who is supposed to pass laws that Facebook is an international company that does not belong to our father and that we can use at our leisure."


Following criticism, a-Sattar repeated his original proposal and made a change. In an interview with Al-Quds Al-Arabi, Al-Sattar said that he did not talk about a monthly fee of 200 Egyptian pounds, but a much lower sum.


"I will submit a bill according to which the state will grant permission to use Facebook at a nominal cost of five Egyptian pounds every month to enforce the state's control over what is happening on all the dubious pages that incite murder and terrorism and to preserve the security and stability of the homeland."


(Translated and edited by Fred Goldberg)


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