Will this parliamentarian succeed in getting ‘Facebook bill’ imposed in Egypt?
As if taxes in Egypt aren’t tough enough, a parliamentarian has recently proposed a new bill to impose a “registration” fee on the country’s users of social media.
Member of Parliament, Riad Abdel Sattar, suggested imposing a monthly fee of 200 Egyptian pounds on users of social media platforms, such as Facebook.
Abdel Sattar claimed that the fee would allow the Egyptian government to “monitor” Facebook users closely and prosecute those using it “against state institutions.” The proposal will be tabled in the Egyptian parliament next week, on April 26 to be precise.
Egyptians have by and large criticized the proposal. A fellow parliamentarian asked how the authorities can impose a bill on Facebook, as they don’t even own the platform.
Parliamentarian Nader Nourddine said that Facebook allows its users across the world to freely access the platform. "How can anyone decide to take that away from Egypt’s internet surfers?, he asked.
Around 30 million people use the Internet in Egypt and most of them communicate via social media. Whether MP Riad Abdel Sattar has his way on the proposal remains to be seen.