Cyber Crimes in Egypt (Ethical Issues)- Script (en)

Cyber crimes in Egypt (Ethical Issues) 2021

A film by Heba Huzein, Kayle Gamache and Nouran Bassiouny
Supervised by Dr. Inas El Shafei
Ahram Canadian University (ACU)

Panel discussion:
How many cases of cybercrimes have happened in Egypt recently? Who are the most involved social classes in such crimes? And in your opinion, what are the reasons for spreading this particular type of crimes?

It is very difficult to give an exact rate for these crimes, as every second, a new crime is committed. Not only one, but a plentitude of them.

Dr. Ahmed Mukhtar:
(Undersecretary of the National Press Authority)
I think that regulating the access to websites became a significant issue that we must focus on nowadays.

Dr. Fatima Alzahraa:
(studies journalism)
Spreading Fake news and rumors has become a trending topic all around the whole world. People all over the world are now talking about the spread of fake news through digital platforms, especially social media platforms, which became the main suspect behind the spreading of fake news. Amid the spread of COVID 19 pandemic, many false health tips have spread about how to avoid the infection, or how to recover from it. The whole world is discussing the effect of these false news that may lead to death.

The first law for cybercrimes in Egypt has been issued in 2018. The law criminalizes the spreading of fake news.

Dr. Ahmed Mukhtar:
There are many articles in the Egyptian law that states that people might get imprisoned not less than six months and might be subjected to a fine up to 50,000 Egyptian Pounds if they did not keep the materials they shared on their social media pages. So they have to keep them for at least 6 month, according to the Egyptian law, as these materials might be requested by the authorities at any point. Because when someone or a family get defamed, these authorities always make their investigations, so that’s why keeping these materials is very important.

Dr. Fatima Alzahraa:
So when we take a specific look to the crime—if we would call it a crime—we will find that all the needed legal elements do exist, besides the laws that criminalize the act itself. However, it’s a very controversial thing to determine the act, the crime, and link between them, as it’s hard to determine who started the fake news, whether it was shared by an individual or by a group, as when the fake news goes viral they get millions of shares, likes and comments. So accordingly, should we consider everyone who reacted to the fake news story a criminal that should be arrested or subjected to a fine?

But, who is in charge of the fake news industry?

Dr Mostafa El Bana:
(Instructor, Department of Visual Communication)
With having millions using social media every second, It’s very hard to track the origin of the fake news story, and you might need a professional experts who may be able to illustrate the way that this story been created. Yet, it is very hard for those experts to know its origins. For this task to be done, it may take many and many steps, and the fake news story may go even more viral during this whole long process.

Dr. Fatima Alzahraa:
So concentrating on media usage and the characteristics of media users is the best and safest way to fight against the fake news, as we can’t doubt the importance of the legal formwork to face cybercrimes, however, the complexity of the phenomenon itself make it difficult to deal with it as a crime that anyone interacted with it should be involved in. Especially, with the existence of people and different software to distribute these fake news.

Dr. Inas El Shafei:
(Executive Director of the Development and Women Forum)
Regarding the 25th Article of the Cybercrime Law we can consider it as a double-edged weapon, frankly speaking, this article stands against any crime like the extortion crimes that many citizens suffer from, especially women. The Case of Menna abd El- Aziz and Mazen Ibrahim (The TikTok Girl) is still getting a lot of attention in Egypt after days of spreading arguments, accusations, and videos on social media sites? So what is the truth behind this story? During the last few days, a new assumptions about a gang rape crime have gone viral on social media in Egypt. When we look at the Egyptian society’s culture that consequently affect the values and principles of the Egyptian families, we find that this culture includes some discrimination areas, and also a big part of this culture works against many human rights, like the discrimination that happened against women in many Egyptian families, which has been justified as a way to protect women from getting hurt. So if the law is going to use the term “to protect Family’s Values”, the law must identify these “values” clearly.

Harassment victims(TW):
1- I did not know what to say or what to do
2- I broke down and cried a lot
3- No one around did anything, and they said that it’s all my fault, and I am lying and came up with a whole story, and that the harasser is innocent and did nothing to me.
4- Now, I am afraid of going out alone. I know that people will always stare at me, even without directly harassing me, I will feel as if their eyes harassing my body.

TV Anchor:
The only benefit behind this case, if it has any benefits, is the insurrection that people made, as they refused to charge the victim for what she was wearing. However, they concentrated on preventing similar cases in the future.

Dr. Inas El Shafei:
If we really want to stand against the content that violates human rights and incites mocking and bulling, we should all work together, as human rights advocates, disciplined media organizations, and civil society organizations, to present appropriate content.

Dr. Ahmed Mukhtar:
We also noticed that the misuse of social media might have negative effect on Egyptian families, as sometimes people share some ethical and financial accusations without any evidence, which may destroy the Egyptian society’s norms and values

Dr. Inas El Shafei:
So, accordingly, we prefer not to start with judicial intervention, as it is an advance step. Yet, first there must be some advice, guidance and rehabilitation. Then, we could resort to courts, as we want to clearly define the term “the family’s values and norms”

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