A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Egyptian Court Bans Internet Pornography. Yet Again. This Time Due to Alleged Friskiness at the Pyramids

Egypt's Administrative Court has moved to ban pornographic sites on the Internet this week, (link is in Arabic; English summary here).

This latest move should probably not be confused with a May 2009 ban on pornographic websites, nor with the state prosecutor's ban on such websites in 2012, nor with a separate case in the Morsi era that was adjourned, not to mention the fact that Egypt-based sites have long been illegal anyway.

The latest rebanning of something already banned seems to be a feelgood response to public outrage at two reported cases of pornographic films being surreptitiously made at the pyramids. The first case erupted in March when a Russian couple apparently filmed a partially explicit video at the pyramids.

Then at the beginning of May reports said that the Ministry of Antiquities had opened an investigation of reports that a porn star known as Carmen de Luz had posed for "indecent' pictures at the pyramids. She denied it, saying she visited the pyramids and posted modest pictures to Facebook, and a reading of the link suggests the Ministry is partly concerned that she was at the site after hours. Given the earlier Russian incident, the mere visit of a known porn star to the pyramids may trigger suspicion.

Need I note that even the first incident and its resulting video were not posted on an Egyptian website and presumably were already banned under existing law?

It's a good thing Egypt has solved all its problems of poverty, human rights, social violence, terrorism etc., and can now concentrate on the important stuff like pyramid porn, real or imagined.  Meanwhile, tourists, please remember, if you feel like getting promiscuous at the pyramids or sexy at the Sphinx, don't film it or post it to the Internet.

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