News

Facebook Defies Government Crackdown on Egypt’s Online Activity

Facebook Defies Government Crackdown on Egypt’s Online Activity

Facebook has around 22,4 million users in Egypt, roughly 25% of the population
Facebook has around 22,4 million users in Egypt, roughly 25% of the population

Facebook has rolled out a new feature that will let you know if the social media company suspects your account is being hacked into by the government.

Users will receive a notification stating the suspicion that their account ‘may be the target of attacks from state-sponsored actors’ urging the user to secure their account by using Facebook’s security measures.

“We do this because these types of attacks tend to be more advanced and dangerous than others,” a statement released by Facebook reads. “We strongly encourage affected people to take the actions necessary to secure all of their online accounts.”

The social media website is not willing to disclose how it knows a Facebook account is under attack on orders of a government, and not by a ‘regular’ hacker, claiming it has to “protect the integrity of our methods and processes”.

Social media in Egypt has long been believed to be under strict security surveillance by the government. Only last week, an Egyptian Facebook user was sentenced to three years in prison by a military court for sharing a Photoshopped picture of president Abdelfattah el-Sisi with Mickey Mouse ears. He was charged with “attempt to overthrow the regime”.

In 2012, Alber Saber was sentenced to three years in prison for blasphemy and contempt of religion, and in 2010 Ahmed Hassan Bassiouni was sentenced to six months for linking to a page that shared information for new recruits in the Egyptian army.

In June 2014, the independent newspaper El-Watan reported on the development of a mass social media surveillance project by the Ministry of the Interior entitled ‘Social Networks Security Hazard Monitoring Operation’. The surveillance includes monitoring of private posts and conversations on platforms such as Facebook, Viber and Whatsapp.

A security official confirmed the existence of the project in a phone call to an Egyptian TV show.

In July 2015, a number of documents were leaked online which confirmed that the Egyptian government had purchased hacking software from an Italian company called Hacking Team, supposedly enabling the government full access to Egyptian social media accounts.

Facebook has around 22,4 million users in Egypt, roughly 25% of the population, making it the 14th largest Facebook community in the world and the biggest in the Arab world.

Low Turnout Plagues Egypt's Parliamentary Elections
Illiteracy Rate Among Egyptian Middle Schoolers Spikes to 35 Percent

Subscribe to our newsletter


News

More in News

Three Egyptian Women Join L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Fellowship Program

Nour EltiganiNovember 20, 2018

Egyptian MP Drafts New Law to Regulate Outdoor Advertising

Nour EltiganiNovember 19, 2018

Naguib Mahfouz’s Newly Discovered Stories to be Published This December

Mirna AbdulaalNovember 19, 2018

Egypt’s Unemployment Rate Down to 10 Percent in Q3 of 2018

Egyptian StreetsNovember 16, 2018

Egypt ‘Appreciates’ and ‘Trusts’ Final Saudi Investigation into Khashoggi Killing

Egyptian StreetsNovember 16, 2018

Archaeological Mission Unearths Ancient Pregnant Woman Burial

Egyptian StreetsNovember 14, 2018

Egyptian MP to Submit Bill Omitting Religion from National IDs to Parliament

Egyptian StreetsNovember 12, 2018

British Parliament Encourages Lifting the Travel Ban Imposed on Sharm El Sheikh

Nour EltiganiNovember 11, 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.