CAIRO: The Ministry of Interior is monitoring social media such as Facebook and Twitter to track bomb makers, minister assistant Abdel Fatah Othman said Sunday.
“We aim to hunt the explosive makers who target the innocent. We do not seek to interfere into anyone’s privacy,” he told Bekhtesar talk show on Al-Mehwar channel Sunday.
Othman said Egypt is not the only country that tracks social media, that the U.S. listen in to phone calls and supervise anyone who could threaten its national security.
“The watching system put by the ministry does not violate any individual’s privacy. The Ministry of Interior does not break the law and we respect the citizens’ rights of knowledge,” Othman said. The ministry looks for those who could cause threats to citizens by searching for specific words and terms online, such as “explosives,” to see how many people used this expression.
In 2012, former Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim Youssef, not to be confused with the current Minister Mohamed Ibrahim Moustafa, said the ministry followed up on calls of demonstrations on social media, in anticipation of violence and riots incidents before celebrating the first anniversary of the January 25 Revolution, Akhbark net website reported.
Twitter users immediately created a hashtag #احنا_متراقبين that translates into “We are being watched,” mocking the ministry tracking of online social media. The hashtag trended in Egypt with got 29,800 tweets since Saturday evening.
@MahmoudAfifiii: Good morning, watchdogs; I woke up WeAreBeingWatched.
@M7rusa: Mona, make tea for the watchdogs WeAreBeingWatched.