A digital forensic lab with specialized capabilities has been set up by the Egyptian government to serve the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) of the country in line with the country’s fight to combat software piracy.

The lab, which is the first of its kind in any of the countries in the MENA region has been designed to help proffer solutions to business software and internet-based piracy cases through authentication of recoverable data from digital devices to expose both old and new fraud techniques.

The ease of acquiring, analyzing and reporting evidence in digital forensics are amongst the major reasons for the implementation of this measure.

The lab is located at the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA), which is an agency responsible for developing the IT industry in Egypt. The agency works as an executive IT arm for the Egyptian ICT ministry and will always ensure to implement IPR with respect to software products and databases.

The IPR Office Manager in Egypt, Dr Mohammed Hegazy has said “Over the last couple of years, ITIDA’s IPR office has undertaken comprehensive actions to increase IP enforcement with all the stakeholders like the economic courts; i.e., judges and prosecutors, police officers, and copyright owners,”

The fully dedicated IPR lab will contribute in delivering extensive training and capacity-building seminars in legal, technical and practical aspects.

In a study carried out by BSA-IDC Global Software Piracy, the Egyptian piracy rate reached 61%, a ratio lower than most of competing countries and leading global outsourcing locations including Morocco (65%), the Philippines (67%) and Vietnam (78%).

The Egyptian government is currently undergoing an unprecedented phase of development in all fields, which is largely attributed to sound policies, monetary reforms, and global partnerships.

With the sustained momentum that Egypt is gaining in the area of tech innovation and startups ecosystem maturity, the Egyptian government represented by the Ministry of ICT has put its free and open software strategy into action.