Since the Islamic stream came to power, I have noticed that there are certain words and expressions that prevailed over others like Closing, Banning, Controlling, Dominating, Monitoring, ..etc rather than Opening, Creating, Cooperating, Respecting,.etc. There are many incidents and issues, but lately the Egyptian society, media, and intellects, were consumed in the issues of closing stores at 10pm, and banning the porno sites. Actually, I am for having a regulation for opening and closing of stores, and I am against the negative effect of porno sites. However, I totally refuse both decisions..
Let me start with the latest, PORN Sites...Before you think that I am promoting Porn Sites, just answer the following questions:
- Does the government have a certain definition for Porno sites? Other than the explicit fornication sites, do you consider an article or a blog, or facebook page that contains people on the beach or scientific illustratiomn of body parts as porn? What is the criteria for classifying or banning a website?
- Do people log onto porno sites by their own will, or is it obligatory in the web browser? I.e. If someone decides not to log to porn sites, will he/she ever be exposed to them unless he/she digs for it?
- Can we really technically control it? I worked for 10 years in the Internet field and managed mega portals like Microsoft Network, and I can assure you that the 100+ Million pounds they gonna spend will be invain as there are many ways to open these sites ranging from stuff for free to application for $10 or $15!! needless to say that the Internet in Egypt will be slower as well.
- Who will pay the 100 Million Pounds (announced in Al Ahram)? and how does this come as a priority in public spending?
- Did anyone consider the side-effect of this decision in our world positioning in the Telecommunication and Internet field?
I am afraid that this kind of banning will be a Trojan horse for controlling the content of the net, and blocking whatever pages or application the government doesn't like .. famous bloggers like Wael Abbas, or Alaa and Manal or Mona El Tahaway or even this humble blog can be banned just for claiming that they contain something "doesn't fit with the values of the society" .. Give me a break!!
Moving to the 2nd very much related issue, Closing the Shops @10 and restaurants @12 ... Let me throw a couple of questions as well:
- On What basis was this decision taken?
- Why cant it wait till the election of parliament to be fully discussed and apply it in the right way at the right time?
- Did the government consult with the owners, and civil societies to study the pros and cons?
- Did the government consider the Egyptian culture with all its ups and downs and how to apply the decision while taking it into consideration?
- What alternative solutions will the government provide for the side effects of the decision (like increasing in un-employment, security issues, fighting illegal trade and "ghorza" that will flourish after closure hours,...etc).
Again, I am afraid that it is all revolving about the same ancient obsolete ideology of banning and bestowing !!!! the divine supreme government that has "ra3aya" or "3abeed e7sanhom" not civil citizens.