Egypt/ 5.1 General legislation  

5.1.8 Data protection laws

Many of the laws in force restrict the right to obtain, publish and circulate information, such as:

Egypt has an arsenal of laws that hinder scientific research and sometimes prevent the obtainment, publishing and circulation of information under the pretext of protecting national security, such as:


Article No.



Article 1

Law 121, of the year 1975, concerning the prohibition of the use or publishing of official documents

Upon orders by the president of the republic, a system is set for the protection of official documents. this system determines the State’s official means of publishing and using official documents related to higher State policies, or national security which the Constitution or law does not provide for its publication right after being issued or decreed. This system may include the provision of prohibiting the publication of some of those documents for a period not exceeding 50 years, if public interest deems so.

Article 2


Those who, by virtue of their position or responsibility, came to view or acquire unpublished documents or instruments as indicated in Article 1, or photocopies thereof, are prohibited from publishing them or their content, all or in part, except with a special permission from the Cabinet, and after a presentation by the relevant minister. Article 3 includes penalties for those violating the law providing for a jail term and a fine not in excess of a thousand pounds, or one of those punishments for all those violating Article 2. It also provided for the compulsory imposition of an additional fine on the culprit if they had benefited or profited from his crime, with an amount equal to the benefits or profits they enjoyed, and the confiscation of material pertaining to the crime in all cases

Article 1

Presidential Decree No. 472, of the year 1979, regarding State official documents protection system and their means of publication and use.

Documents, instruments, and correspondence related to higher State policies or national security are confidential. Their publication or release, in part or in whole, is prohibited. They shall not be handled or viewed except by those whose nature of work requires that, unless such documents are among those which the Constitution and the law provide for their immediate publication upon issuance.

Article 2


All authorities, including ministries, political bodies or institutions, whether diplomatic, economic, military, religious or otherwise, upon issuing, or procuring a documents, instruments or communications pertaining to higher policies or national security, shall inscribe them as confidential, and prohibit their circulation or inspection, except by those charged with the preparation of such documents and no one else.

Article 3


The head of each body shall set the system that would ensure the confidentiality of the mentioned documents.

Article 4


The indicated documents shall be kept at their bodies for a period that does not exceed 15 years, after which they will be transferred to the National Documents House for safekeeping at sites especially prepared for this purpose, where they will maintain their confidentiality for another 15 years. After the time period provided in Article 4 elapses, Article 5 stipulates the formation of a committee at the National Documents House. This committee shall encompass the  director, two technical employees, and a representative from the document or instrument issuing authority to review 30-year or more documents in order to decide their release to the public or to extend their confidentiality period and prohibited their circulation for another interval that does not exceed 20 years, on the condition that the total period of circulation or publication prohibition does not exceed 50 years from the date on which such document or instrument was issued.

Article 4

Law No. 28, of the year 1982

A jail sentence of not less than one month, and not more than six months, and a fine of not less than 100 pounds, and not more than 500 pounds, or one of those punishments for those who:

Violate the confidentially of the statistical data or divulge any personal data or industrial or commercial secrets - or by any other means of declaration - that they came upon due to their involvement in gathering statistics or census information.

Those who, through deception, threats, illusion, or any other means, acquire secret data or information regarding statistics or census, or set out to do so.

Those who knowingly publish statistics, census, or referendum results that are incorrect.

Article 3

Law No. 35, of the year 1960, concerning statistics and census

No individual, or public or private body shall inspect personal data related to any confidential statistics or census, and such confidential statistics or census shall not be used for non-statistical purposes, along with the prohibition of publishing any individual related data thereof, except with the written permission of those concerned.

Article 1

Law 313 of the year 1956, amended by Law No 14, of the year 1967, regarding the prohibited publishing of any news of the armed forced

The publication or disclosure of any information or news regarding the armed forces, its formations, movement, equipment, and personal in general and all that is related to military and strategic aspects, in any way fo publication or disclosure, shall be prohibited, except after the acquisition of a written consent from the director of military intelligence or whoever is acting in his place, whether to the writer or publisher of the material

Article 80 (a)

The penal code

A jail sentence of six months to five years and a fine of 100-500 pounds to anybody who acquires, by any unlawful mean, a defense secret, even if they did not submit or reveal such a secret to a foreign country or any individual employed in the service thereof. This punishment also includes whoever reveals, in any way, a defense secret, and all who employ any mean of correspondence with the intention of acquiring, delivering or revealing a defense secret.

Article 80(b)

The Penal Code

An individual who is a public official, a representative, or assigned to public duty, shall be punished by imprisonment if they reveal a defense secret of the country. The punishment shall be hard labor if the crime takes place at the time of war.

Article 77

Law No 47, of the year 1978, concerning State civil servants

An employer is prohibited from giving any statements or making any announcements concerning the duties of their job through newspapers or any other mean of publication, unless with the written consent of his relevant superior.


Chapter published: 01-04-2016