Buzzfeed.com has reported that Egyptian officials have confirmed that activities on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Skype and basically anything you can send an emoticon on will now be monitored on a much broader scale.
Though our beloved government has monitored online activities in the country before, the latest development has seen a company registered as See Egypt essentially win the contract to pry into our sad lives with technologies and systems that allow geolocation, tracking and deep monitoring of traffic.
The ‘Deep Packing Inspection’ technology set to be implemented is said to be similar to ones used by many western governments including the US. One official – speaking under anonymity - has stated “We are looking at any conversation, any interaction, we might find worrying or would want to keep a closer eye on. We are watching conversations between Islamists, or those who discuss Islamism. We are watching communities, which we consider at risk,” adding that those engaging in ‘debauchery’ or ‘homosexual acts’ will also be watched. The news comes just weeks after rumours suggested that hook-up app, Grindr, was being used to seek and arrest homosexuals.
The Ministry of Interior outlined what exactly they’ll be looking for:
“Blasphemy and skepticism in religions; regional, religious, racial, and class divisions; spreading of rumors and intentional twisting of facts; throwing accusations; libel; sarcasm; using inappropriate words; calling for the departure of societal pillars; encouraging extremism, violence and dissent; inviting demonstrations, sit-ins and illegal strikes; pornography, looseness, and lack of morality; educating methods of making explosives and assault, chaos and riot tactics; calling for normalizing relations with enemies and circumventing the state’s strategy in this regard; fishing for honest mistakes, hunting flesh; taking statements out of context; and spreading hoaxes and claims of miracles.”