BuzzFeed report about Interior Ministry’s surveillance of Internet users angers activists

The story published by Al-Masry Al-Youm, on Friday, citing the  American website BuzzFeed which said the Egyptian Interior Ministry began monitoring social networking sites and Internet users, raised the anger of human rights activists as they considered the measure a violation of the freedom of expression and the Constitution.
The surveillance of Egyptians has already existed for many years, and what is happening now is just the development of surveillance means in contravention of the law, said director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information Gamal Eid.
The BuzzFeed report is very important, said Eid. The Ministry of the Interior violates the state Constitution, on which the state bodies encouraged people to vote "yes," having confidence that they are immune from punishment, added Eid.
"What is happening is a development for the means of control which violates human rights to express their opinion in an attempt by the state to tighten the grip on citizens," according to Eid.
Eid stressed that the cost of this development was expensive and was done using taxpayer money, and under the eye of the political system.
Head of the Arab Organization for Human Rights Mohamed Zarei described the acts committed by the Interior Ministry as "strange and contradictory."
Zarei explained that the Interior Ministry expresses national security concerns and at the same time employs a foreign private company to monitor Egyptian citizens' activities on the Internet.
The measure will not only restricts freedoms, but will also affect the national security, Zarei said, adding that at a time when people can not find food, the Interior Ministry is paying large sums of money to a private company to monitor them.
Zarei concluded by warning that repression generates explosive pushback and that there is a great danger to the state if acts of censorship on the citizens continue the same way.
The Interior Ministry denied the report published by BuzzFeed in a statement on Thursday.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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