News organization Mother Jones has gotten hold of a massive spreadsheet containing names and contacts for thousands of Syrian dissidents.
A 718-page digital document obtained by Mother Jones contains names, phone numbers, neighborhoods, and alleged activities of thousands of dissidents apparently targeted by the Syrian government. Three experts asked separately by Mother Jones to examine the document – essentially a massive spreadsheet, whose contents are in Arabic – say they believe that it is authentic. As Bashar Al-Assad's military continues a deadly crackdown on dissent inside the country, the list appears to confirm in explicit detail the scale of the regime's domestic surveillance and its methodical efforts to destroy widespread opposition.
The article speculates about how the list is being used, but doesn't really know. But it doesn't take much imagination to speculate. The Syrian mukhabarat has long been used to torture and kill anti-regime activists, and the regime has also used the family members of activists living abroad as leverage against them.