Skip to main content

Egypt’s cybersecurity council prompts privacy concerns

Egypt has launched a new cybersecurity division to protect its ministries and institutions from cyberattacks, but some political groups and activists are concerned it might also be used to curtail speech and monitor their online activities.
An Egyptian protester streams a demonstration via Skype as people gather in Cairo's Tahrir Square to denounce the military's attacks on women and to call for an immediate end to the violence against protesters on December 20, 2011. AFP PHOTO/MOHAMMED ABED        (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images)
Read in 

CAIRO — Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab decreed the establishment of the High Council for Cyber-Security (HCC) on Dec. 16. The HCC reports directly to the Council of Ministers, and its official goal is to develop a strategy to counter cyberthreats, supervise its implementation, and keep that strategy up to date with fast-moving technological developments. This announcement of the council's creation has triggered a debate about whether it will be monitoring what activists and others write or send via the Internet and social media.

The HCC is headed by Minister of Communications and Information Technology Atef Holmi. Its members include representatives from the ministries of defense, foreign affairs, interior, petroleum and mineral resources, electricity, health, water resources and irrigation, supply, communications, the general intelligence service, the central bank and three technocrats. On Dec. 31, Mahlab announced that the Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC) would also be joining the HCC. The IDSC is the cabinet's think tank, providing advice to decision makers about economic, social and political issues.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.