Did Egypt Shut Down the Internet?


As Egyptian protesters continue to demonstrate against government corruption in Cairo, we hear that BlackBerry Internet access in the country has been blocked. Via The Arabist [Update: as of 11 p.m. the site was giving a “connection interrupted” page load error],

I just received a call from a friend in Cairo (I won’t say who it is now because he’s a prominent activist) telling me neither his DSL nor his USB internet service is working. I’ve just checked with two other friends in different parts of Cairo and their internet is not working either.

This just happened 10 minutes ago — and perhaps not uncoincidentally just after AP TV posted a video of a man being shot.

According to Sultan Al Qassemi, a columnist for The National & Emarat Alyoum & founder of the @BarjeelArt Foundation,

On Tuesday, Twitter was blocked, followed by Facebook.

Via @twitterglobalpr:

Egypt continues to block Twitter & has greatly diminished traffic. However, some users are using apps/proxies to successfully tweet.

It’s unclear now whether all Internet access or just certain services have been blocked, but regardless, this is pretty frightening. Imagine being trapped in a country with no way to communicate to the world outside. And, obviously, the Internet is exactly where things like government protests are planned these days. For what it’s worth, the Egyptian government is denying the block.

Mondoweiss lists some ways to help.

Related: Anonymous Threatens Egypt Amid Protests

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 27, 2011

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