Egyptian protesters raided the State Security Intelligence Directorate over the weekend, finding and posting on Facebook documents that point to the Mubarak government’s involvement in terrorism, domestic spying, and torture.
Protesters have posted several of the thousands-of-seized documents on a Wikileaks-styled Facebook page, called Amn Dawla Leaks (National Security Leaks) and blasted them over Twitter using photo-sharing service Yfrog. The interim military government has requested the return of the documents, and protest organizers fear that the documents, which have proliferated throughout the country, will be lost or devalued, rendering them useless for future prosecutions.
The leaked trove–much of which is uncorroborated–lays open a litany of abuses and private affairs. The information unearths everything from vote rigging, torture, and terrorist plots to a sex tape made by a female member of the Kuwaiti royal family. Files discovered in the raids paint a Mubarak regime that meticulously monitored its people, collecting emails, wiretap recordings, and text messages sent and received by millions of Egyptian citizens. Other dispatches sent from high-ranking officials ordered the military to use live rounds at the advent of the protests. One document ordered police officers to conceal or destroy the files to keep them from falling into the protesters’ hands.
The most controversial document allegedly shows the State Security’s involvement in the bombing of a Coptic Christian church that killed 21 and wounded more than 80 people on Jan. 1, 2011. According to The Vancouver Sun, the document helped fuel Coptic protests that are currently taking place in the city. If true, the document could cast doubt on claims made by the Egyptian government that the bombing was carried out by the Army of Islam, an arm of Al-Qaeda.
The raids speak to the freedom-of-information culture that has swept Egypt and much of the Middle East. That the Facebook page models the logo and design of Wikileaks highlights the sentiment among the common men and women in Egypt: eschew authority and bring information to light using the Internet, social media–the tools that have given us power and voice.