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This article was published on April 9, 2012

    Anonymous releases over 2,000 hacked emails said to belong to the Tunisian government

    Anonymous releases over 2,000 hacked emails said to belong to the Tunisian government
    Nancy Messieh
    Story by

    Nancy Messieh

    Lesotho-born and raised, Nancy Messieh, The Next Web's Middle East Editor, is an Egyptian writer and photographer based in Cairo, Egypt. Fol Lesotho-born and raised, Nancy Messieh, The Next Web's Middle East Editor, is an Egyptian writer and photographer based in Cairo, Egypt. Follow her on Twitter, her site or Google+ or get in touch at [email protected]

    A group of hackers, identifying themselves as members of Anonymous, hacked the Tunisian ruling party’s email accounts, releasing confidential documents, Reuters reports.

    2,725 emails were released, among them messages said to be from the Prime Minister, Hamadi Jebali’s account. In a video shared on the Facebook page, Anonymous TN, as well as on YouTube, the group addressed a message to the Tunisian government, in particular to the ruling party, Ennahda.

    The statement, made in French, referred to an attack by members of the conservative Salafi groups on actors during a protest in which they targeted the national theatre in Tunis, and the government’s lack of a response. The statement also mentioned the authorities’ violent dispersion of a protest organized by Tunisia’s Union for Unemployed Graduates.

    The statement goes on:

    We decided to publish Ennahda’s confidential documents, including personal email addresses, phone numbers, bank transactions, and bills paid during the electoral campaign.

    The statement ends with a warning, that if the Tunisian government does not “avoid Internet censorship” in the country, or show a respect for human rights and freedom of expression, more documents will be released.

    The documents, which have not been verified, include email addresses belonging to the president, the head of the Constituent Assembly, party officials and leaders.

    The files contain photos of everything from events to train tickets, YouTube videos uploaded by a specific user, as well as an email from the Prime Minister to a Hotmail account appearing to belong to the Turkish embassy, containing the CV of the current Minister of Foreign Affairs.

    According to Reuters, the emails may be old, and a spokesperson for the Prime Minister said, “We are still trying to confirm if Jebali’s hacked account was from before he became prime minister or after.”

    This is not the first time that an Anonymous-identified attack has been carried out in Tunisia. Last month an Anonymous-affiliated group attacked Tunisia’s Islamist-owned sites.