Hazem Al-Gendy, a member of the Senate and Assistant Head of the Wafd Party for strategic planning, submitted a proposal to President of the Senate Abdel Wahab Abdel Razek regarding the intensification of penalties for cyber-extortion crimes and the violation of the sanctity of private life.
In his proposal to the council, Al-Gendy said that in recent times, Egyptian society has experienced many crimes that it was not familiar with or used to before and that electronic extortion is among the most prominent of said crimes and represents a great danger to all citizens.
The senator stressed that the increase in the number of users of social networking sites — especially youths — increased the rates of electronic extortion, and this is a direct reason for its commission, and even helped the tremendous development in the field of modern technological techniques in the treatment of collectables and personal photos of others and the infringement of the sanctity of others’ private lives by blackmailing them using sensitive information or fabricated content.
He criticised the penalties contained in Articles 25 and 26 of Law No. 175 of 2018 regarding combating information technology crimes for public deterrence due to the significant damage these criminal acts can cause, and that these penalties have become insufficient to confront this crime.
The senator suggested amending the penalties in these two articles to elevate the charge from a misdemeanour to a felony worthy of imprisonment given the extent of the damage resulting from it and its cause in ending the lives of some victims.
“We recently witnessed the suicide of some girls, such as the 21-year-old girl — who came to be known as ‘the Al-Haram Girl’, who committed suicide by throwing herself from the tenth floor in October 2021; and the 17-year-old in Al-Gharbia, who committed suicide by poisoning herself due to being a victim of bullying in her community brought about by electronic blackmail,” he said.