Egypt: New Anti-Cyber And Information Technology Crimes Law

Last Updated: 30 April 2019
Article by Andersen Tax & Legal Egypt
Most Popular Article in Egypt, May 2019

To top off a year of innovative and advanced legal instruments, the Anti-Cyber and Information Technology Crimes Law (Law No. 175 of the year 2018) has been ratified and published in the official Gazette. The new law addresses issues such as hacking state information systems, committing crimes through information systems, technology, or e-mail, or publishing material online that threatens the country's security or economy. It is a much-needed update from the out dated its 2004 counterpart, which only addressed telecommunications. This made the law inadequate to address modern cybercrimes, which often gave judges difficulty in finding the appropriate legislation to fit alleged crimes. This undermined key principles such as legal certainty and fairness. Now, this law, even if not directly nor clearly an economic law can be used to provide assurance for investors and potential business people, as it is a key tool in any modern legal system.

The law, made up of 45 articles, revolves around ensuring the safe and secures use of technology – not around restraining its users. Accordingly, below is a summary of the new liabilities that the law enforces:

For Citizens

  • People who publish a picture of someone without their consent get a minimum of 6 months in prison and a fine of 50 – 100K.
  • Any content posted that may be viewed as "against family principles and values upheld by Egyptian society", is also punishable by law under Article 25.
  • Making fun or making parody accounts of public figures is also punishable under the new law yet under Article 24.
  • Anyone creating an email, website or personal account on social media and falsely attributes it to a registered individual or organization also faces a fine and prison time.
  • VPNs, or anonymous browsers used to privatize users' browsing habits are now illegal as well, if the motive of using them is proven to be unlawful or cannot be determined.
  • Sharing internet connections, or wireless networks and Cable TVs have also been included in the law under Article 13.
  • Hacking also is now punishable whether intentionally or not. Act of accessing files by any individual without permission are penalized by prison time & any damages to those files extends the sentence.
  • All original content posted that violates privacy of others without their consent is subject to punishment regardless of the validity of information involved.

For Editors or Publishers of the Media

  • For website where the picture is published considered as the facilitator for a crime, the perpetrator gets a minimum 2 years in prison and a fine of 20-200k.

For Internet Service Providers (ISP)

  • They should not collect browsing data for website or publisher or they will be subject to a fine of up to 5-10 million and a ban of license. - Censorship orders issued and not properly enforced are punishable by a considerable fine under Article 30.
  • Eavesdropping or intercepting browsing activities of clients which are supposed to be private is also punishable by a fine of 50,000 to 250,000 thousand EGP and a year in prison under provisions of article 16.
  • Censoring or redirecting users from certain websites is also illegal without an order or directive by a competent authority. Censorship orders are issued through court, or through the NTRA.
  • Service providers also have to get user approval before using their data for marketing, but the law does not define the terms for the client, or user to give consent or take it back.
  • Companies also providing services to others, such as website hosts, are liable to punishment if they do not report any crimes committed.

For Telecom Companies

  • New regulations defines storing and sharing client data where they have to retain data on users& traffic information for up to 180 data and be able to provide it when prompted. Penalties regarding this issue stipulated in article 33 are in between 5 million and 10 million, with risk of revoking license of operating in Egypt. The data should be secured from potential loss or hacking, as such measures could make it vulnerable.
  • Telecom companies are also responsible for providing the technology needed that allow the government to investigate.

For Digital Security Experts

  • Accessing a website, private account of information system for a longer time than permitted by the security clearance is subject to punishment regardless of their intention. There is a separate sentence for perpetrators depending on their intentions, whether they intended malicious actions or not, but both are punishable, regardless. This article is exclusive for government entities.
  • For credit data, different punishments are defined. Individuals who access credit data get a less sentence than those who use credit data to make purchases or benefit from them. However, there is no language in the article to define acts of those discovering vulnerability in the system without causing harm to the party to whom the data belongs.
  • Lighter penalties are defined for hacking into emails or personal accounts, but the motive is not important. Harsher penalties are set for hacking into individuals of legal occupations. - Changing the design of a website in any way is also an offence, punishable per article 19.

For Web, Account, Email or Information System Administrators

  • All content published in social media or web by the account held by this individual is under their responsibility. If the content is illegal or against society values, the administrator is held accountable.
  • A website, private account or information system involved or facilitating a crime penalizes the administrators or owners of the website. - Erasing evidence to a crime is also punishable. Comments, emails, or any other digital evidences may not be erased or concealed in case of involvement in a crime.

For Government Employees

  • Courts may issue a suspension ruling if an employee commits any act that is punishable by law.
  • The suspension is mandatory if an object of any act as punishable by the cybercrime law belongs to a website, email account or information system that is administered by this individual. The law also leaves room for conciliation, which is reaching an agreement between the perpetrator and the victim with some offences. It does not, however, apply to all punishable offences. Here are the main rules of how the law allows reconciliation:
  • Recourse is possible at any stage, as long as a final ruling has not been issued, up to cassation.
  • In some cases, conciliation must be mediated through the NTRA (National Telecom Regulatory Authority). This is for offenses that involve cancellation of operating licenses, as the NTRA is the authority which grants the licenses to begin with.

These laws come in a time much needed with the digital age already set in Egypt and many crimes are still not punishable by law. Andersen Tax & Legal Egypt has an expert team of professionals who can help you comply with the new laws and deal with any repercussions resulted.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions