Sunday, July 15, 2012

‘Revolution 2.0’ by Wael Ghonim

Angry Birds
"Sometime later the guard received a phone call from the interrogator. He woke me and asked me to get up quickly and speak to an officer.'
"The interrogator's voice came over the phone. 'Your e-mail password is not working.''
"'Then one of my friends must have changed it,' I replied, trying to keep the happiness out of my voice.'
"'And why would they change it?' he asked angrily.'
"'Because they are worried about me and they're trying to keep me out of danger.''
"'What danger?' he interrupted. 'What are you hiding in the e-mail?''
"'I'm not hiding anything, I swear,' I said, 'but it certainly has the names of people who planned to participate in the demonstration and who helped with the designs and volunteered on the page.''
"How had Nadine or Najeeb realised that I had disappeared so quickly? This question gnawed at me. It is true that I had been praying that one of them would miraculously find out about my abduction, but had my prayers really been answered?'
"I would later learn that Najeeb had noticed on Thursday night that I stopped posting on the Facebook page and on Twitter. He knew that even though these social networks were blocked, I could easily use proxy technology to gain access. So he got worried. He tried to call me on Friday and Saturday, without success. When nothing happened to ease his anxiety, he decided on Sunday that he must change the password on the 'Kullena Khaled Said' Gmail account. I only gave Najeeb access to the Facebook page account; I had not given him or Nadine access to the e-mail account. He could not ask the company to make the change (Gmail belongs to Google), as he didn't want to disclose any anonymous admin identity to anyone. He tried using the 'forget password' option, but even though he knew a lot about me, he could not answer the secret question. He noticed, however, that the password could be sent to another address, which I had entered as backup. This other address was my personal Gmail account.'
"Najeeb called my wife, who by now was extremely worried about me. He asked if I had left any personal computers at home, and she said yes. Shortly thereafter he went to my home in Dubai to try to access every computer and see if he could get into my personal e-mail account. He looked through three laptops that I had at home, but none of them had a password that he or my wife could guess. He then asked if I had left a cell phone. She got him my personal mobile tablet. That phone was password-protected too, but my wife suddenly remembered that Isra would know the password – she loved to play Angry Birds on my phone. Isra immediately entered the password on the mobile tablet. Najeeb got all the information he needed, in addition to a list of my friends' names and their phone numbers. He was finally able to change the password on the 'Kullena Khaled Said' account, and then he began making as many international calls as he could to find out if anyone knew where I was. Angry Birds probably saved many Egyptians whose full names were in my in-box a lot of hassle!"
(pp. 229-31, 'Revolution 2.0: The power of the people is greater than the people in power' by Wael Ghonim - Harper)

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