“Wasl” Newsletter: Issue 11

Recap of Masaar’s Activities in 2023

Throughout 2023, Masaar published 38 research papers on the intersections between technology and law, in addition to episodes of the “Connect” podcast. 

Covering topics such as AI, language models, and their impact on human rights, as well as the intersections of IoT, video games, and gender, Masaar’s publications varied to address issues related to technology and equality, privacy, internet governance, and technology and law.

Masaar also worked intensively on Article 76 of the Telecommunications Regulation Law, which concerns the crime of “intentional disturbance using telecommunications means.” In this context, Masaar published a paper on “Issues of the Crime of Intentional Disturbance Using Telecommunication Means in Egypt,” along with a memorandum challenging the constitutionality of the crime, a memorandum of substantive defenses, and finally an explanatory memorandum on the legislative effect of the crime.

Additionally, Masaar published a guide and two papers on the Personal Data Protection Law in Egypt, or rather what the law should be upon issuing its executive regulations. Masaar published a data protection guide for companies, a paper on the impacts of the delayed executive regulations of the law on sensitive data, and the obligations of the Data Protection Officer according to the law.

In the context of protecting privacy online, Masaar published a webpage containing a comprehensive set of tools and applications designed to protect privacy and digital security.

Masaar also updated its ICT Laws Aggregator with new laws and court rulings. The Aggregator has been expanded to include new laws, executive regulations, and rulings from the Economic Court, bringing the total number of laws available on the Aggregator to 17 laws and 52 rulings, classified into 5 main categories and over 80 subcategories. The Aggregator is a tool -available in Arabic only- that contains laws, regulations, and rulings related to the ICT sector and digital rights in Egypt.

In the following section of the newsletter, you can find the publications released in the last quarter of 2023. You can find previous publications on Masaar’s website or through previous “Wasl” newsletter issues.

Masaar – Technology and Law Community Activities

Cyber Sovereignty and the Future of the Internet and Digital Rights

This paper aims to clarify the meaning of cyber sovereignty and explain the reasons for its emergence and the objectives of its advocates. The paper also seeks to elucidate the effects of implementing cyber sovereignty policies on the future of the Internet and its governance system, including its protocols, independent institutions with roles in its administration, and the governance system based on the principle of multi-stakeholders. In addition, the paper, in its final section, highlights the impact of implementing cyber sovereignty policies on digital rights, specifically the right to access information, the right to freedom of expression, and the right to privacy.
English | Arabic

Progressive Communications: The Values, Principles, and Impact

This paper seeks to provide a clear definition of progressive communications, clarifying the most important progressive values and principles and how progressive communications reflect and help work to reach them. The paper also shows the most important aspects of the impact of modern advancements in progressive communications on social movements, governments, and businesses, which provide examples of what progressive communications can accomplish.
English | Arabic

Social Media Influencers: Exceptional Responsibilities and Absence of Guarantees under the Media Regulation Law

This paper aims to identify the risks posed directly by the Press and Media Regulation Law on influencers. The paper also discusses the impacts related to the policies and regulations produced by the Supreme Council for Media Regulation on the work of influencers’ pages. Finally, the paper addresses the absence of any guarantees for influencers in the face of the multiple responsibilities imposed by the laws and regulations of the Press and Media Regulation Law.
English | Arabic

IoT and the Intersections of Gender and Technology

This paper seeks to present a reading of the intersections between IoT and gender. The paper also focuses on both the new threats introduced by IoT on the right to privacy for women and girls and the dangers related to the widening of violence, abuse, and harassment targeting women and girls.
English | Arabic

How Video Games Reinforce Gender Stereotypes

This paper seeks to provide a comprehensive picture of the intersection of gender with video games. The paper also highlights the need to address many of the negative aspects that are still prevalent in both the video games industry and the content it provides, as well as in the gamers community and the sexism and misogyny prevalent in it.
English | Arabic

Explanatory Memorandum: Legislative Effect of the Crime of Intentional Disturbance Using Telecommunication Means

Masaar, through this explanatory memorandum, seeks to point out the issues related to the text and application of Article 76 of the Telecommunications Law and provides potential legislative alternatives for avoiding them. The memorandum starts with an explanation of the intentional disturbance crime in Egyptian laws, before moving to the aspects of Article 76 suspected unconstitutionality, and it ends with recommendations for amending that article.
English | Arabic

The Obligations of the Data Protection Officer under the Personal Data Protection Law

This paper deals with the definition of the position of the Data Protection Officer and the obligations imposed on them by the Personal Data Protection Law. The paper also presents the conditions for appointing a Data Protection Officer and the impact of a lack of commitment to these conditions.

Moreover, the paper addresses the consequences of the delay in issuing the executive regulations of the law and the establishment of the PDPC on the obligations of the Data Protection Officer.
English | Arabic

Substantive Defense Memorandum – The Crime of Intentional Disturbance by Misusing Telecommunication Means

Masaar issued a memorandum on the most important substantive defenses, which can be used as guidance, in investigations and trials related to the crime of “intentionally disturbing others by misusing telecommunications means” stipulated in Article 76 of the Telecommunications Regulatory Law No. 10 of 2003.

A Memorandum on the Unconstitutionality of the Crime of Intentional Disturbance by Misusing Telecommunication Means

Masaar published a memorandum arguing that Article 76 of the Telecommunications Regulatory Law No. 10 of 2003 is unconstitutional. Article 76 relates to the crime of intentionally disturbing or harassing others by using telecommunications means. The memorandum reviews suspicions of unconstitutionality related to the ambiguity and lack of clarity of the text of the article, the disproportionality between the crime and the penalty imposed, the violation of the right to equality, and the application of freedom-depriving penalties for publishing crimes.

Tools and Applications for Digital Security and Privacy Protection

This webpage aims to provide a comprehensive set of tools for privacy protection and digital security. The tools include a wide range of applications necessary for maintaining digital security and privacy.

These tools include Virtual Private Networks (VPN), data encryption, antivirus, password manager, file sharing, secure email, browser plugins, two-step verification, and the secure erasure of sensitive data.
English | Arabic

  • Episode (16): Changes in Internet laws in Europe and Britain: What’s new?

Listen to the podcast on: Google Podcasts | Apple Podcasts | Spotify

From the Arab Region

Palestine Unplugged: How Israel Disrupts Gaza’s Internet

This report from Access Now provides a mapping of the main internet service providers (ISPs) in Gaza, with a case-by-case analysis of connectivity and changes in internet traffic for each ISP between October 4 and 31, 2023.

Read more via Access Now: English | Arabic

Meta Should Stop Profiting from Hate

7amleh’s investigation highlighted swift approvals for 19 ads featuring hate speech and incitement in Hebrew against Arabs and Palestinians in the context of the war on Gaza. This sheds light on the failure of Meta’s “automated and manual review” enforcement mechanisms aimed at prohibiting inflammatory advertising content on its platforms, and the company’s inadvertent financial gains from the propagation of this rhetoric.

Read more via 7amleh: English | Arabic