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Egyptian regulator tightens restrictions on media, social networks

Egypt’s Supreme Media Regulatory Council has put into effect restrictions that allow the state to block websites and social media accounts with over 5,000 followers if they’re deemed a threat to national security. The top media regulator will also be able to impose stiff penalties of up to 250,000 Egyptian pounds ($14,400), all without having to obtain a court order. Critics say some of the measures, published in the official gazette late on Monday, are stricter than those approved by lawmakers last year, AP reports. Prominent Egyptian journalists are calling the measures unconstitutional, saying they grant far-reaching powers to authorities to censor the media.