Cairo – The number of blocked websites in Egypt increased to at least 424 as the country forges ahead with censorship measures since May, according to a Cairo-based watchdog group.
The Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE), an Egyptian Non-governmental Organisation (NGO), which has been tracking affected sites, said the latest ban included two rights group websites and another 17 VPN and proxy websites.
On May 24, Egypt’s official media reported that the government had ordered the blocking of access to 21 news websites, alleging they supported terrorism or reported fake news, including websites affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and the Qatari network Al Jazeera.
However, the ban was expanded to include independent news websites.
In July, the international media watchdog, Reporters Without Borders (RSF), said its website had been blocked in Egypt.
AFTE said the total number of banned sites usually differred depending on which Network Company was used to access the internet.
The government has not officially declared that it is behind the ban.
A state of emergency declared in April, following the twin attack on churches that killed almost 50 people, grants the president special powers that include censoring and confiscating publications, monitoring and intercepting all communication as well as closing any facility. (dpa/NAN)