CAIRO – May 2018: The Parliament’s general session, chaired by speaker Ali Abdel Aal, witnessed on Monday the final voting on five important laws concerning social housing, mortgage finance, railway travel system, medical and clinical research, cybercrime and the development of Upper Egypt.
The Anti-Cyber and Information Technology Crimes Law mainly aims at combating the illegal use of computers and information networks. It defines commonly used concepts such as “websites, traffic data, digital directory, personal statements and national security”.
The bill regulates Internet Service Providers’ (ISPs) activities and their obligation to provide national security authorities with information on users suspected of spreading terrorist and extremist ideologies via the internet. It also aims at securing personal data of internet users.
According to the new social housing law, a Social Housing Fund will be established affiliated with the Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities. The fund will be considered a public service authority with several official offices in all of the country’s governorates.
The fund, according to the new law, will be responsible for providing low-income housing units in the areas that will be selected by the government. The government is expected to issue another detailed law following the final approval explaining the needed criteria and conditions for applying to have these housing units. The law will ban each family from having more than just one unit.
The new law of clinical research governs the organization of clinical medical research in Egypt. Clinical researches are the tests conducted on human participants, or groups of humans, in order to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of newly developed medications or medical devices. This law has raised many concerns over the ethical nature and legality of the process.
Upper Egypt Development
The Parliament passed a bill submitted by the government to set up the Upper Egypt Development Authority, as a whole. During the session, the committee explained that the draft law comes from the desire of the state to implement its constitutional commitment stipulated in Article 236, P. 1, of the Constitution, which reads, “the State shall ensure the development and implementation of a plan for economic, including that of Upper Egypt, Sinai, Matrouh and Nubia regions, with the participation of its people in development projects and prioritizing that the people benefit from these projects, while also taking into account the cultural and environmental patterns of the local community within ten years from the date of implementation of this Constitution.”