Recently, the Court of Cassation issued a judicial ruling in which it concluded that the Minister of the Interior does not have the authority to implement orders to block websites that violate the laws from the Internet, and that the capacity and competence to be held to implement those orders. by the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, thus recognizing a legal principle that overturned a judgment of an economic court. This applies to all similar orders issued by the investigative and judicial authorities.
The Court of Cassation said in its judgment that the blocking of websites is one of the mechanisms for monitoring the implementation of licenses to provide information technology services granted by the legislature to the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, and its purpose is to behavior of users of this network and prevent the consequences of crimes The device to immediately notify the service provider of the temporary blocking of the site does not change the decrease in the work of these devices to collect evidence and crimes and their perpetrators to arrest.
The facts of the case in which the judgment was issued refer to the filing of a lawsuit by the chairman of the board of directors of a commercial company before the Tanta Economic Court of Appeal, requesting that two websites be blocked for the exploitation of the trademark owned by him, which led to the creation of a misleading impression among consumers of the subordination of the signatories to the company, which is considered an act of unfair competition. He also received financial and moral compensation from one million pounds claimed.
The court appointed an expert in the case whose report concluded that there is unfair competition due to the similarity between the company’s activity and trademarks and the aforementioned two sites, which will mislead the consumer audience. As a result, the court decided to order the Minister of the Interior, in his capacity, to block the two fake websites from the Internet.
The judgment was not accepted by the Minister of the Interior, so he filed an appeal against it before the Court of Cassation, claiming that it violated the law and the error in the application, necessitating its supervision due to the absence of his competence in this, and the meeting of the competence of the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, as it is competent to notify the service provider of the blocking in accordance with Article 7 of Act No. to the supervision of all internet service providers in accordance with Act No. 10 of 2003 regarding the regulation of communications.
The Court of Cassation saw the payment of the payment submitted by the challenger to the Minister of the Interior, and said that the legislature considered the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority as an intermediary between the investigation and the judiciary on the one hand, and information technology service . providers on the other hand, given that the NTRA is the source of licenses for the establishment and operation of telecommunications and information technology networks, and the one responsible for monitoring their implementation. And provides his services in accordance with the law, so he has sufficient knowledge of the data of service providers, so he is the most competent and the fastest to inform them about the decisions issued against them to block websites.
The cassation added that the blocking of websites of the international information network is one of the mechanisms for monitoring the implementation of licenses to provide information technology services granted by the legislature to the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, and its purpose is to the behavior of users of this network and prevention of the consequences of the crimes determined in the Act on the Combating of Information Technology Crimes, which Including the crime of fabricating a website and falsely attributing it to a natural or legal entity, which is punishable by Section 24 of the law. Telecommunication Regulatory Authority to notify the service provider to implement it.
And what the law allows for the investigative bodies of the Ministry of the Interior regarding the blocking of websites, the Court of Cassation explained that whatever the procedures required by law, the jurisdiction to order the blocking of fake websites from the Internet , from the Minister of the Interior and he is not qualified for it.
She added that the law that allows the competent investigation and control agencies to immediately notify the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority to notify the service provider of the temporary blocking of the site does not change this, since the work of the the aforementioned devices are limited, according to the original, to the collection of inferences and the arrest of crimes and their perpetrators, and that their members are in their execution. These functions are considered to be judicial control officers attached to the Public Prosecutor and subject to his supervision regarding to the work of their post.
The Court of Cassation concluded that if the disputed judgment violates this consideration and obliged the Minister of the Interior in his capacity to block the two fake websites described in detail in the report of the delegated expert of the Internet, in the event that his ability and competence in relation to this decrease in the aforesaid manner, then he has violated the law and erred in its application, which necessitates reversing what has been determined in this regard, which means that the jurisdiction to to implement blocking has not been held by the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority. and not by the Minister of the Interior.