State security personnel are finding it harder to be repressive in an era of open social media.
"The men just stand there mute facing the door, their hands in fact covering their faces.
There really isn't much they can say, even though they should be holding all the cards. This is Egypt, after all, where for four decades - and indeed, for centuries - men who represented the power of the state could basically do whatever they wanted to ordinary subjects or citizens, with no fear of opposition or resistance from their victims.
What could an ordinary person do, never mind a young, slightly built woman, against the power of the mukhabarat [Security Services]? Egyptians, like their counterparts across the globe, had little hope of standing up to the power of the state, whose survival depended in large part on their powerlessness, or at least their perception of their powerlessness against such violence.
But watch this video; watch how Al Jazeera Egypt reporter Hayat El-Yamani refuses to allow the plain clothes security agents trash her office without forcing them to disclose themselves. Watch and listen to how she berates them; how she refuses to let them merely have their way. How her colleague refuses to remove the camera from their faces, how she paces around them, cornering them like a cat does its prey, while they stand pressed against the door to her office.
She challenges them, harangues them, even badgers them with finger jabs to their shoulders and back, forcing them to explain themselves, to admit to the destruction they are engaged in inside the next, temporarily sealed room. "Hey, I won't stand here and just watch you breaking my own door," she tells them as she jabs their shoulder, with constantly repeating "law samaht", or "If you please", which - under normal circumstances would be a sign of politeness or respect - but here becomes a sign of utter disdain and a reversal of the balance of power that normally exists between citizen and security agent.
"Why are you hiding your faces guys ... It's like you're being arrested," she teases them. "If you had the right to do this, you wouldn't be hiding your face," she continues. "Let me in my office, I want to see what your guys are breaking and smashing in there... Where's the documents that says that you have the right to do this?" she demands.
Most important, she declares, "I won't let this pass. If your guys in there break anything, I won't let it go."
What a difference a year makes