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Egypt Loves Internet Porn, But Just Banned It

Backed by "Pure Net," a Salafist Muslim grassroots organization, conservative Egyptian public-prosecutor Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud has decided it's time to finally "enforce":http://transitions.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/11/12/egypts_ominous_attack_on_porn...

by Daniel Stuckey
Nov 14 2012, 4:00pm

Backed by “Pure Net,” a Salafist Muslim grassroots organization, conservative Egyptian public-prosecutor Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud has decided it’s time to finally enforce an outstanding 2009 court order to ban Internet porn. Arguing that porn goes against traditional Egyptian values and customs, Pure Net staged a demonstration last week, calling on this action. And who was going to oppose them publicly?

In a country that has been a world leader in Google searches (2006-2007) for “sex”, “sexy”, “bird sex”, “elephant sex” and “pig sex”, it feels like the nation of roughly 82 million is going to be full of a ton of upset dudes repressed into silence on the front of the issue, dealing with a nasty paradigm. Too embarrassed to fight for one of the wrongest rights in the free world, those who might bravely do so would ultimately incur suggested allegiances with cultures as Western as Vegas. The Catch 22’ing ensues.

But is it really time for Egypt to join China and Iran in kindergarten intranet world? After the revolutions of 2011, protestors and liberal voices have carried forth demands for expressive freedoms and decreased state control. With the state taking the reigns over pornographic content (which some have mused would be an operation spearheaded by eagerly volunteering young religious men) a continued stride over Internet freedoms by families-that-are-pissed-their-toddlers-found-daddy’s-bird-sex-gallery could signal a decline for one of Egypt’s most progressive and integral machines: The Internet.

As it turns out, voices in opposition of the internet porn ban, which is widely seen as trivial and distracting, are incessant on Twitter, a key medium of mobility throughout the Middle East’s demonstrations last January.





In the process of banning porn, what other types of important content will be jeopardized and disputed at tedious lengths? I can only guess what some poor, repressed Egyptians looking for some YouPorn will have to do to get some content. It reminds me of being a 4th grader and sitting in the vice principal’s office after she figured out that a few of us had been passing around printed-out black and white porn that we’d smuggled in our shoes.

Perhaps deep web tor browsing and VPN’s like hidemyass.com will be necessary to help Egyptians get their fix of Sex.com [NSFW]. Will the state be forced to ban Tumblr too? Or will it take the time to go through and ban the “sex” Tumblr’s from the merely “sexy” Tumblr’s? I follow a few pornstar and porn director friends on Twitter—what about them? It all seems like an endless task, especially cases where some Salafis are demanding that images like these should also warrant the shutdown of applicable medical sites. To what lengths Salafism, the conservative Muslim sect based on the earliest ancestors of Islam, can go are incredible to me. This is the sect, remember, to which only an estimated 10 percent of Egypt—tops—belongs.

I’m also constantly reminded of that Ultra-Orthodox-Jewish anti-Internet rally that happened in NYC last summer. Motherboard’s Alex Pasternack attended the rally, and said it wasn’t only about porn, but the “creeping suspicion that information could not be controlled.” As Sruly, a young participant at that rally, told Pasternack: "Whoever doesn't need it shouldn't have it and whomever does need it should use it as little possible."

Will an echo be created by Egypt as the state begins to sweep out all different categories of web-browsing? I imagine those heads of state in charge of manually removing each individual bot-site for a recurring Jenna Jameson at wits’ ends, crawling on their knees from Internet-scaping exhaustion. Isn’t it only a matter of time before state officials seek Iranian consultation to move forward with creating a safe place to log-in? A snazzy Intranet, unsusceptible to the malware of Western thought.

How long is it before Google Offers intervenes and starts making drop shipments of unlocked broadband cards throughout the world’s netless zones? What will a revolution end up looking like when people develop new pastimes, no longer befuddled by a longing for elephant sex? We shall see. Reddit’s /r/nofap has certainly had its success stories.