Egyptian Protesters Raid State Security, Post Government Secrets to Facebook

Egyptian rebels stormed the headquarters of the feared State Security Intelligence Directorate this weekend. They stole files indicated that secret policemen spied on Facebook accounts, harassed Coptic Christians and had advance knowledge of terrorist attacks. Then they posted the secret files--to a WikiLeaks-like Facebook group.

Amn Dawla leaks

Egyptian protesters who infiltrated the offices of Egypt's State Security apparatus on Saturday found exactly what they were looking for: surveillance files on millions of Egyptian citizens and caches of information on hundreds of sensitive subjects.

They also found secret torture chambers, evidence of vote rigging, possible complicity in terrorism, state surveillance of the Christian minority and extensive lists of passwords to Skype and Facebook accounts used by ordinary Egyptians.

According to the Meta-Activism Project--and the Twitter/Facebook accounts of Egyptians involved in the State Security raid--the use of WikiLeaks was the primary inspiration for the Facebook page and Yfrog Postings. According to Al Jazeera, the action involved hundreds of protesters and a search for documents detailing the hacking, targeting of human rights groups, plus torture devices and secret detention rooms. The protestors left with plenty of those documents, although Egypt's armed forces called them to return them, as they were part of "a larger investigation into corruption and rights violations."

Then, following the discovery, the Egyptian protesters did a very 21st century thing with their new, liberated information cache: They posted it to Facebook and other social networking sites.

A new Facebook group called Amn Dawla Leaks (State Security Leaks), which is posting scans of secret Egyptian security files, already has more than 12,000 fans. Use of it is accompanied by Egyptian protesters who have taken it upon themselves to upload scans of controversial state security files to Twitpic, Yfrog and similar services.

Egyptian voter registration cards


Users posted to Amn Dawla Leaks falsified voter registration cards found in state security files for use by regime loyalists.

Yfrog user @Pakinamer posted this photograph of a document detailing spying on Egypt's Coptic Christian minority.

Yfrog user @Pakinamer posted this photograph of protesters examining the state security detention cells where Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch alleged that widespread sexual and physical abuse of prisoners took place.

Users posted to Amn Dawla Leaks a document indicating the Egyptian military had advance knowledge of a devastating terrorist attack at the scuba diving mecca of Sharm el-Sheikh in 2005. The terrorists at Sharm el-Sheikh killed 88 people and severely injured more than 200.

Users are constantly posting new scans to the Facebook page and to the various Twitter-based image sharing services by using the #amndawla hashtag. The use of Facebook to create a website designed to give away government secrets is sure to create a headache for the famously politics-wary company.

However, any move to remove the Facebook group would create massive negative publicity among the vociferous American supporters of the Egyptian youth uprising.

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Email Neal Ungerleider, the author of this article, here.

Read more of our coverage on Egypt.

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