Ahmed Abdel Naby, an administrator of the Internet Revolution Egypt Facebook page who was arrested on Friday in Alexandria after the page published documents detailing former government discussions to block and surveil VoIP services that allow users to make voice and video calls on the internet, was released on LE1,000 bail on Saturday.
The Alexandria prosecutor has charged Abdel Naby with spreading false news, disturbing the peace and threatening public security, presumably in connection to the documents published on the page.
The Internet Revolution Egypt page, which has over 1 million followers, announced that the administrator had been arrested on Friday at dawn by a police force from the National Security Agency, a day after the page had published several documents it claimed originated from the National Telecom Regulatory Authority.
Among these documents was a report that suggested requiring developers to provide decryption means to security bodies, allowing service providers to use Deep Packet Inspection to enforce NTRA regulations, and obliging operators to block the transfer of all content that does not adhere to NTRA regulations using DPI.
الانفراد الثالث متنساش تعمل #شير عشان نقدر نستمر وننشر المستند القادم الخاص بالمراقبه. !!
المستند ده عبارة عن دراسة عمل…
The documents also included information about a 2013 meeting organized by the NTRA that addressed how internet service providers were unable to enforce regulations when users turned to proxy servers or VPNs. Those present at the meeting, according to the documents, advocated the adoption of stringent telecommunications regulations similar to those in the United Arab Emirates, where the use of a VPN without informing local telecommunication companies is illegal.
In recent months, smartphone users in Egypt have noted disruptions to encrypted communications applications, such as Signal and FaceTime. Open Whisper Systems, the developer of Signal, has attributed the disruption to the Egyptian government
“We’ve been investigating over the weekend, and have confirmed that Egypt is censoring access to Signal,” Open Whisper Systems stated via its Twitter account shortly after the interference was first noted. “It turns out that when some states can’t snoop, they censor.”
In December 2016, the developer released an update to the program to allow it to bypass interference from Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.