Overview of Web Censorship in Egypt

There is strict control in Egypt over mainstream media, including newspapers and television stations. From an economic perspective, there is a large overhead for producing and distributing large amounts of newspapers and broadcasting television. This limits the ability of a voice independent of the government. With the advent of the internet, it has become rather simple in terms of effort and costs for a person with a voice, internet access, tools to post online, and a desire to potentially reach millions of people. Such ease of access has been a dilemma facing the Egyptian government since the internet became available to the Egyptian public in 1996.

If the Egyptian government were to ban the internet, it would essentially be shutting itself off from the rest of the world, including the global economy. At the same time, the Egyptian government is concerned with the spread of information being generated from within the state. The government would like to maintain an image of strength and national unity. Regulating the internet is a way to avoid having any views contrary to their image displayed to the rest and the world and even others within Egypt.