Abdel Rahman Ahmed-Cairo

An Egyptian parliamentary study showed the regime's failure to cope with the widespread dissemination of dissident publications and videos on social media, despite security crackdowns, media intimidation and cyberattacks against dissidents.

The study, prepared by the Committee on Communications and Information Technology in the House of Representatives (parliament) and will be announced within days, said that the months of August and September last aired 2850 video clips described as "against the state," a term used by the system to refer to the criticism of the policies of the opponents or disclosure For the facts of corruption.

MP Ahmed Badawi, head of the CITC, said in remarks carried by local newspapers that the study showed that the opposition publications reached millions of users on various social networking sites, while some videos achieved views exceeding more than 2 million views per clip.

To justify this widespread dissemination of dissenting publications, especially among young people, Badawi claimed that this was due to "thousands of dollars paid promotion campaigns carried out by the Muslim Brotherhood" and targeted what he described as "low-income" youth in villages and hamlets in various governorates.

Undo system videos

Badawi acknowledged the failure of the videos supporting the regime in the face of the widespread spread of opposition videos, citing what he described as a campaign of reports targeting videos of the system up to "100,000 reports per hour," and pushed the Facebook administration to delete them.

But in August and October, Facebook announced the deletion of hundreds of pages and accounts linked to Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, because of its involvement in coordinated propaganda campaigns in favor of the ruling regimes in these countries, to mislead users of communication platforms.

In an attempt to discourage Egyptians from sharing anti-regime videos, Badawi threatened that many Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pioneers sharing these videos would expose them to legal accountability, according to the Cybercrime Law of the House of Representatives (in June 2018).

The law provides for penalties of up to 5 million Egyptian pounds and a fine against internet users and service providers in case of violation of the provisions of this law, and grants competent investigating authorities the right to block one or several sites, links or content.

The law faced human rights objections to its negative impact on freedom of opinion and expression, and codified comprehensive monitoring of communications in Egypt.

Recently, a member of the Egyptian National Defense and Security Committee, Khaled Abu Taleb, announced that he would submit a draft law to punish those he described as proponents of rumors and false news through communication sites, provided that the penalties amount to the death penalty.

Electronic Intifada

Since the beginning of September, social networking sites have seen a wide spread of video clips of the Egyptian actor and contractor Mohamed Ali, which reveals what he said are corruption incidents related to building palaces and presidential facilities and wasting billions of pounds of public money on personal interests, calling for a protest against President Abdel Fattah El Sisi Step down or be isolated by the army.

The electronic committees of the regime failed in the face of the storm of protest against the communication sites against the regime, where topped the opposition tags in recent weeks, and some of them disappeared mysteriously despite exceeding 1.5 million tweets, while Mohammed Ali's personal account on Facebook was hacked.

Following the outbreak of anti-regime demonstrations in several provinces on September 20, security forces launched a campaign of indiscriminate arrests of thousands, and began security ambushes in the arrest and search of mobile phones of citizens, especially in the downtown area of ​​the capital, to ensure that they do not participate in any leaflets against the regime.