In the late 1990’s, the emergence of the Internet – and social media in particular – put Mubarak's authority at stake of large segments of the young educated middle class, eventually leading to the January 2011 revolution. Since then, the executive authority is extending its control over the Internet.
The online sector is regulated by the Supreme Council for Media Regulation. The State controls the main Internet Service Providers, which makes it an easy task to block websites.
Since May 2017, the Egyptian authorities have been monitoring the internet extensively, and blocked about 100 news websites. Reporters without Borders and the MOM project is among them.
Moreover, In August 2018, President al-Sisi signed the new Law on Combating Cybercrimes, creating legal framework to block websites threatening national security. ISPs are required to retain browsing data of their customers and disclose it to security bodies upon request. According to this bill, ISPs will be subjected to a hefty fine and a minimum sentence of one year's imprisonment if they don't act on any blocking ruling from a Criminal Court.
The Egyptian authorities also started to block the websites allowing to bypass censorship. From Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (www.ampproject.org) to the ToR Project.
The online sector is mostly dominated by companies involved in other traditional media sectors. Most of the popular outlets are digital versions of existing print media such as Al Masry Al Youm, Youm7, Al Shorouk, El Fagr, Al Watan, Ahram Gate, Akbar al Youm, TV such as Sara El Balad. Only two are independent from an existing media outlet and are owned by its journalists (Mada Masr) or by a wealthy businessman with interests in the telecommunications sector (Masrawy). One was first a website before its print version was issued (Al Bawaba).