The Egyptian government banned access to 21 websites in the country on Wednesday, May 24. Websites affected by the ban include the main Al Jazeera website, independent news site Mada Masr, and Huffington Post’s Arabic-language site, HuffPost Arabi. The government has accused the websites of supporting terrorism and spreading false news.
According to media sources, this is the first time that the government has publicly acknowledged a website ban.
Al Jazeera is a Qatar-based news organization. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) also blocked access to the website on May 24. Qatar is currently involved in a dispute with Egypt, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia. Tensions increased after Qatar claimed a hacker published a fake story quoting the ruling emir making controversial comments, which were published by Saudi and UAE news organizations.
Individuals in Egypt are advised to monitor the situation.
The security environment in Egypt remains complex. Although travel is permissible in some areas, other areas should be considered strictly off limits. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel. Due to the high risk of terrorist attacks and kidnapping, some Western governments advise their citizens against travel to North Sinai province.