Syria Torturing Activists for Facebook Passwords

Activists say social media no longer safe
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2011 8:12 AM CDT
Syrian troops leave Daraa in this image from Syria's state-run news agency.   (AP Photo/SANA)

(Newser) – Syrian activists say it’s not safe to use their Facebook or Twitter networks anymore—because they’ve been infiltrated by the Assad regime. “Some of our people who have been taken have been broken under the most severe torture, and they have revealed passwords and names,” one activist tells the Telegraph. “The lines of communication have almost been completely severed.”

As a result, the flow of images and video of the government’s brutal crackdowns in Homs, Banias and elsewhere has slowed to the barest trickle, as the government uses those passwords to track down and arrest the activists who’ve been posting footage. There are also reports that Iran has given Syria’s government technology to block satellite phone transmissions, which activists have been relying on since the government cut off all normal phone services.

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