Egypt 'shuts down Internet' amid further protests; Facebook web traffic drops

Egypt 'shuts down Internet' amid further protests; Facebook web traffic drops

Summary: Amid further protests in Egypt planned for tomorrow and social networks have been blocked, reports indicate the Internet has been 'switched off' in the region.

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With further protests planned and growing pressure on Egyptian leaders to resign after alleged human rights violations, it is believed that the Egyptian government has 'shut down' the Internet in the region.

While access directly to the Facebook and Twitter websites are inaccessible from within Egypt, protesters are circumventing the blocks in place by using mobile applications which still work. Proxy websites are also being used, as they mask the address of website, allowing those to access social networking sites.

But as the blocking measures are failing, it appears that Egypt has sanctioned measures to 'shut down' web access, fearing the same reprisals as seen in Tunisia earlier this month where the government collapsed and the president was forced into exile.

Further protests have been organised to take place tomorrow, said to be the largest yet. Egypt's interior ministry said it will take "decisive measures" against protesters.

It is also reported that SMS messages are also being blocked, amid further anti-government protests. DSL, landline and 3G services are said to have been taken offline in Cairo, according to one CNN reporter. Associated Press reporters are also suffering outages in the region.

Reuters reports that Facebook has seen a significant drop in traffic to Facebook from Egypt, suggesting that social networks have been a factor in the rise in protests.

"We are aware of reports of disruption to service and have seen a drop in traffic from Egypt this morning", a Facebook spokesperson said.

The US government, an ally of Egypt, called on the Egyptian authorities to unblock the social media sites that have been used to organise the anti-government protests, arguing the government should "not prevent peaceful protests or block communications". .

Topics: Social Enterprise, Browser, Collaboration

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15 comments
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  • Zack, any word from the UK?

    Incredible. Here is the first time in nearly four years that I actually can endorse a federal decision, either domestic or international.
    What might the Brits be up to? After all, they once owned virtually all of Egypt.
    nikacat
    • RE: Egypt 'shuts down Internet' amid further protests; Facebook web traffic drops

      @nikacat Nothing, as far as I'm aware.
      zwhittaker
    • Independance

      @nikacat I think Egypt became independant a long long time ago. A similarly 'good' question would be "What are the Romans doing?"!? ffs! lol
      Regards from Tom :)
      Tom6
    • Why are you okay with the federal decision?

      @nikacat

      Why on earth would anybody ever be "ok" with any federal government to just suddenly deprive you of something you already had? This is not a good decision, and like "temporary" taxes, this probably won't be "temporary" either. When things settle down, look for these services and goodies to be handed out sparingly and as treats for "good behavior." Good behavior, as far as the government's concerned.

      This is not a good move.
      SAStarling
  • Ham Radio

    The internet is down, but ham radio is still up in Egypt. Anyone in Egypt, turn your PC into a ham radio: hamsphere.com. If you have Facebook access, keep up with the latest developments at the Facebook site Operation Egypt.
    Nissl
    • Huh?

      @Nissl
      If the Internet is down how are they going to go to ham sphere.com?
      Tigertank
    • Proxy servers?

      I knew someone that used a ham-radio system to do emailing down in Morocco. Satellite links might be a tad faster tho!
      Regards from
      Tom :)
      Tom6
  • No internet?

    They will probably become a more happy and socially harmonious society now.
    james347
  • Hosni Mubarik must be...

    s**ting bricks right now as we speak. Especially when he thinks of what happened to his friend, Ben Ali, in Tunisia.

    Hosni is one man whose shoes I would NOT like to be in right now!!!
    Yam Digger
  • RE: Egypt 'shuts down Internet' amid further protests; Facebook web traffic drops

    Obama & Israel must also be worried atm, they have funded this man for a long time.
    johnpall@...
  • Frightening

    Are they being conquered by muslims?
    tyciol
  • Egypt 'shuts down Internet' amid further protests; Facebook web traffic dro

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  • RE: Egypt 'shuts down Internet' amid further protests; Facebook web traffic drops

    Mubarak was stupid to do this, it was only like adding salt to the wound that infuriated the Egytians even more and it showed the people how desperate he was. As the ceo of a <a href="http://www.elmotaheda-web.com" title="web design company in Egypt">web design company in Egypt</a> that works with many news portals in Egypt, we felt the cut more than most. Here where web sites with photos and news from the Tahrir Square that where not able to publish their stories. Such web sites like the <a href="http://www6.mashy.com/" title="Arabic news site">Arabic news site mashy.com</a> would have gotten their international 15 minutes of fame. Other sites like thedailynewsegypt.com which is an English language Egyptian news site, the staff was exploding because they had amazing news stories that could have been picked by international cites like CNN and given them credit.<br>So yes I believe there should be a solution that gives the Internet more robustness from being cut by governments but sadly I think that governments always want control and will not relinquish it without a big fight.
    ehabh