Egypt

Egypt Said to Have Cut off Facebook and Twitter

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So reports iAfrica.com:

A website that monitors internet traffic was receiving reports on Wednesday that Facebook was inaccessible in Egypt, a day after Twitter was blocked amid anti-government unrest.

Asked about the social network's status in Egypt, a Facebook spokesperson referred AFP to Herdict.org, a project of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.

The Herdict.org website listed two reports o fwww.facebook.com being inaccessible in Egypt.

There was no immediate reply from Herdict.org to a request for further information about the status of Facebook in Egypt, where tens of thousands of demonstrators have staged protests against President Hosni Mubarak and his 30-year rule.

Twitter said its service remained blocked in Egypt as of 10pm GMT on Wednesday but that some people were using third-party applications or proxy servers to successfully send "tweets" at the microblogging service.

The Twitter website had been cut off in Egypt on Tuesday in an apparent move to thwart protesters using the social network in the anti-Mubarak campaign.

"We believe that the open exchange of information and views benefits societies and helps governments connect with their people," Twitter said in a message at @twitterglobalPR.

Twitter and Facebook were among internet social networking services protesters reportedly used to share information and coordinate activities.

More on that from PCMag, adding Blackberry services to the list of possibly-not-working-in-Egypt tech tools.

I don't even know how that is done technogically, but….Wired.com on how to follow this week's Middle Eastern political unrest online.

Jesse Walker on Wiki and Twitter revolutions.

UPDATE: AP reporting lightly on Internet being cut off in general. A source I confess I never heard of but which is at top of Google News on "egypt internet cut off" search called Global Post with much heavier reporting.

UPDATE II: In the comment thread, various folk are keeping up on latest links re: Egypt and Internet censorship better than I'll be able to as the night wears on. Thank you for doing so, and readers please consult the comments thread.

UPDATE III: Also see higher up on Hit and Run a fresh post from Jesse Walker with fresh links on the 'Net crisis in Egypt.

NEXT: Reason.tv Folks 'Round the Tubes: Ted Balaker on Whatever Happened to Anti-War Protests?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Finally, Myspace shall have a monopoly on social networking in Egypt!

  2. With the resulting explosion in productivity may make them forget their differences.

  3. That Zuckerberg guy is pretty annoying. Still, I think that’s probably an overreaction.

    Maybe just a press release talking about how lame he is? Or better yet–his worst nightmare–couldn’t they just defriend him?

  4. I hate to say it, but that’s old news. I can’t say that this represents the absolute latest, but here goes…

    This evening, about 10 minutes after the Associated Press posted a video appearing to show a man being shot in the head (unconfirmed reports on Twitter later said he had died), Egyptians began reporting that their Internet access had been cut off, and an Italian company that provides a major backbone confirmed that its ties to Egypt had been severed. Other reports warned that Egyptian mobile companies were cutting off text-messaging services.

    Tomorrow, the protesters have called for massive demonstrations after Friday prayers, and many are worried that the Egyptian regime will use the opportunity to launch a major crackdown. Arabist.net reports that plainclothes security goons have been seen “pouring gasoline on vehicles and setting them on fire” and that policemen were “loading vans with clubs, nails, metal bars and other objects.”

  5. On the list of things for which I just absolutely, postively, cannot wait for: a circumstance such as Tunisia or Egypt where the government has the audacity to create fenced “free speech zones” — and then have a reporter asks a U.S. politician for his view on such a shameful situation.

    1. Well you are one to talk.

  6. The Middle East is heating up. Too bad we won’t be able to keep out of it, considering how deeply involved our government is will many of the players. Oh, the friends we will make!

    1. It is hard to imagine us cozying up with the Muslim Brotherhood, and in Egypt, I’d guess they probably have the most to gain from all this.

  7. A khomenie style revolution is happening in Egypt and probably Tunisia as well.

    This is very bad for the West.

    “There’s no need to fear. Underzog is here!”

    1. You’re right. We’d better borrow some money from China pronto, so we can stamp out the populist revolts, and install Western-sympathetic puppet governments in Egypt and Tunisia, without delay.

      1. Yeah because installing puppet governments in the Middle East has worked so well in the past few decades, what with leading to the creation of terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda and all.

    2. Right, underschmuck. And support for the current Shah dictator will make it all very different, right?

      1. There’s nothing wrong with speculating about what will happen if anti-American Islamists make big gains out of this.

        1. Actually, from a purely strategic standpoint…

          If I were Saudi Arabia? I’d be thinking about how to nip this in the bud right about now. …rather than a few weeks from now.

          1. I’m driving my Mercedes to the protests.

        2. But isn’t it important to consider the fact that the anti-American Islamists came about because of the US government’s support of dictators in the Middle East? I mean, the modern Egyptian government is renown for it’s willingness to brutally torture people. Is that who we want our government to be aligned with?

      2. The Shah did make all the difference; however, the sympathy of you types for Khomenie style government is noted 😐

        1. You ever notice how commies tend to denounce everyone and everything they don’t agree with as being fascist?

  8. From what I understand, they are only cut off at the DNS level, so people are distributing the actual IP addresses for people to still use them.

      1. More mainstream site

        Looks like they have four main ISPs, so shutting off internet access for the majority of people isn’t that hard.

        Our DNS servers work fine, so you can always test actual, major Egyptian sites, most of which are down.

  9. Those poor people, how will they eat if they can’t tend to their farms?

  10. Cutting off Facebook and Twtter? That gives me an idea…

    1. … if taking money out of the economy and spending it on pet projects enhances free-markets…

      1. … then blocking access to Twitter and Facebook will help to enhance Democracy…

        1. … in fact, the internet hampers Democracy altogether…

  11. A Fark thread said that “anon” was DDOSing the Egyptian gov websites and all gov websites were down.

    Then farther down the thread, someone said that all internet connections to Egypt were cut off, probably physically.

  12. Editor’s Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time.

    Is this a sign of the end of time or it’s honor civility day?

    1. It’s simply a reminder of the obvious.

  13. As you know The Republic of Egypt is going through a stressful time.
    The Egyptian people have come out of their silence, and filled the streets of Egypt with riots against the injustice and tyrany practiced by the current regieme, and its president Hosni Mubarak.These events have been going going on since January 25, 2011.

    he Egyptian regieme has failed so far to control the situation, altought violence is being practiced by the police. The police have used live ammunition directed at the civilians in the streets.

    The real tragedy is as follows:
    AS OF A FEW HOURS AGO, Mubarak’s regime just isolated Egypt from the rest of the world, turning Egypt back to the last century, cutting off every mean of communication! No internet, no SMS, no Blackberry, no cell phones, and tomorrow no landlines !
    Serious fears about government’s intents, Egypt has been demonstrating against Mubarak for 3 days now, tomorrow (Friday) was supposed to be the big day for the protests, with invitations to millions of people to join them, now just before it happns he cut off every mean of communication in there… he can’t be up to any good… we need media coverage for them ASAP !

  14. Brian,

    GlobalPost is relatively new – not sure who is funding it but I’ve found a lot of good international reporting/video on there in the past 7 months or so after I stumbled on it –

    The Guardian.co.uk also has had very good ‘live’ reporting about events in the Maghreb these past few weeks, especially Egypt in the past few days – best English language source I’ve found anyway.

    1. GlobalPost has actually been around for about two years now; see this backgrounder on its business model. I’ve plugged it a few times in the comments myself (e.g., here).

  15. Libertarians fascists? Just because they’re anti-Semitic and Israel is the be all and end all of wasteful U.S. spending (as an aside, it isn’t. Israel is worth far more than the worthless paper we give them to buy our weapons).

    And in addition to anti-Semitism there is cheerleading for sexual perversion, including child molestation? The Nazis were sexual perverts, too. The Nazis came to power with the help of homosexuals; e.g., Ernst R?hm.

    How can anyone call you guys fascists or more reliably — Nazis!

    It must be the work of some Joo…..

    “There’s no need to fear. Underzog is here.”

  16. With d resulting explosion in productivity may make them forget their differences.See this collection of funny Facebook Status .

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