News

Egypt’s police will monitor your online conversations

Egypt’s police will monitor your online conversations
Social media was seen as an important tool of dissent during the 2011 revolution
Social media was seen as an important tool of dissent during the 2011 revolution

Egypt’s incoming government seems to be tightening its grip on dissent by preparing to regulate social media.  Egypt’s security forces are currently looking to hire seven foreign companies to monitor Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Viber and other social media tools for dissent.

The story was first published in the local Egyptian newspaper Al-Watan, after the paper leaked a government proposal detailing a program aimed to “detect social network security threats and identify persons representing a danger to society.”

Egypt’s interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim released a statement claiming the regulation was intended to focus on developing Egypt’s security by monitoring criminal activity online.

The Minister added that the monitoring would provide the Ministry with information about illegal topics and issues against public morals and traditions.

Since the toppling of President Mohamed Morsi last July, violence along the Sinai has increased and the government believes the foreign companies can help track the movement of such insurgents.

It remains to be seen whether the monitoring of social media will be limited to terrorist activities as defined by international standards—since the Egyptian government has labelled the country’s biggest opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, a terrorist organization.

According to Al Ahram, the leaked government document highlighted Facebook, Twitter and YouTube as three seemingly high-risk websites that need priority data monitoring.

 “The proposal request also mentioned its need for creating a database for influential persons and persons of interests and registering their connections with others.”

Following the announcement of the monitoring, activists launched a hash-tag “We Are Being Watched” aimed at expressing concern with the move.

This is not the first time the Egyptian government has attempted to crack down on social media. After the dispersal of Raba’a last August, authorities in Egypt announced they would sentence anyone who posted the popular four-fingered symbol of solidarity on Facebook, to five years in prison.  However, no incidents of arrests or prosecutions over such photos were reported.

Egypt's Interim President Mansour gives final speech
Former Military Chief Sisi Sworn In As Egypt's President

Subscribe to our newsletter


News

More in News

Egypt Investigates Danish Couple Who Climbed the Pyramids for Nude Photograph

Nour EltiganiDecember 10, 2018

Egyptian Jews Celebrate Hanukkah Holiday With the Public

Egyptian StreetsDecember 7, 2018

Chanel Turns to Egypt for Inspiration of Modern Design

Egyptian StreetsDecember 6, 2018

Egypt Receives a Loan from the World Bank to Help Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses

Nour EltiganiDecember 5, 2018

Lawyers Drop Charges Against Rania Youssef’s Dress

Egyptian StreetsDecember 4, 2018

Egyptian HandBall Coach to Train Australia’s Women’s National Handball Team

Nour EltiganiDecember 4, 2018

First International Defence and Security Exhibition Kicks Off in Egypt

Egyptian StreetsDecember 3, 2018

Egypt Approves Legalisation of 168 New Churches

Egyptian StreetsDecember 2, 2018
Egyptian Streets is an independent, young, and grass roots news media organization aimed at providing readers with an alternate depiction of events that occur on Egyptian and Middle Eastern streets, and to establish an engaging social platform for readers to discover and discuss the various issues that impact the region.

© 2017 Egyptian Streets. All Rights Reserved.