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    Egypt Participation at Arab IGF

    Date published: 15 October 2012

    The First Arab Internet Governance Forum is a platform for dialogue for all stakeholders, including: governments, private sector, civil society, academics, the technical community, as well as the regional and international organizations. This is to discuss and debate topics and issues concerning the use of the Internet that is important and relevant to the Arab region.

    Held in Kuwait under the umbrella of the League of Arab States and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), between 9-11 October 2012, the forum witnessed a remarkable Egyptian participation.

    Egypt’s participation mainly focused on exchanging information, best practices, knowledge and lessons learned by involving experts, technical community and academics.
    Egypt organized a workshop entitled: “Protecting Children Online; Assessing blocking and self regulation in the Arab Region”, tackling access, openness, security and privacy.

    The workshop addressed the question of  which is better for providing safety and protection for children using the Internet, “Blocking or Self Regulations” with a special focus on the Arab region.
     
    The workshop presented different experiences of Arab countries namely: Egypt, Lebanon, Qatar, Oman and Algeria in addition to a regional view from the ITU Arab Regional office.

    The workshop tackled the issue of threats faced by the Arab children using the Internet and it was obvious that they are not only inappropriate material. In fact pornographic imagery only makes 22% of dangers faced by children online.

    This fact implies that blocking alone will never be a safe way to create a safer Internet for children and the need for self regulations and raising children’s awareness will remain the first bulwark against online threats.

    Different experiences were highlighted during the session with mainly partial blocking policies. The issue of cyber cafes in the Arab region showed a great challenge in most countries, and the need for an organizing regulation to impose restrictions on cyber cafes was highlighted.

    “White Lists” was an issue raised by the ITU regional office as a technological tool for safety by creating a safe list of websites that the parent or the guardian can add to.

    A call for Arab dynamic Coalition for child online Safety was raised by workshop participants where members can exchange views and experiences and build a coherent Arab position in Child online protection issues.



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