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Friday, January 28, 2011

Egypt Government Cuts Off Internet As Citizens Rise Against Government On The Streets

Renesys shows an almost universal blackout on the Internet from Egypt where providers simultaneously went dark, virtually cutting off access for the Egyptian citizenry to the rest of the world.

According to that report "every Egyptian provider, every business, bank, Internet cafe, website, school, embassy, and government office that relied on the big four Egyptian ISPs for their Internet connectivity is now cut off from the rest of the world. Link Egypt, Vodafone/Raya, Telecom Egypt, Etisalat Misr, and all their customers and partners are, for the moment, off the air."


This is a completely different situation from the modest Internet manipulation that took place in Tunisia, where specific routes were blocked, or Iran, where the Internet stayed up in a rate-limited form designed to make Internet connectivity painfully slow. The Egyptian government's actions tonight have essentially wiped their country from the global map.

That has been confirmed by BGP mon.

The Guardian has live updates on the protests with photos, videos (some very disturbing).

Egyptian demonstrators are demanding the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak and the shutdown of the Internet and mobile phone services coincide with a crackdown on the protesters.

Barack Obama took to YouTube to respond and VP Biden is saying Mubarak is an ally and not a dictator.

As Hot Air's Ed Morrissey phrases it "The guy’s been governing under “emergency” powers for 30 years."

AP reports:

Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters poured into the streets of Egypt Friday, stoning and confronting police who fired back with rubber bullets and tear gas in the most violent and chaotic scenes yet in the challenge to President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule. One protester was killed and even a Nobel Peace laureate was placed under house arrest after joining demonstrations.

Groups of thousands of protesters, some chanting "out, out, out," defied a ban on any gatherings and turned out at different venues across Cairo, a city of about 18 million people, some marching toward major squares and across scenic Nile bridges. Burning tires sent up plumes of black smoke across the cityscape as the sun set. Security officials said there were protests in at least 11 of the country's 28 provinces.

It was a major escalation in the movement that began on Tuesday to demand 82-year-old Mubarak's ouster and vent rage at years of government neglect of rampant poverty, unemployment and rising food prices. Security officials said protesters ransacked the headquarters of Mubarak's ruling party in the cities of Mansoura north of Cairo and Suez, east of the capital.

Friday is expected to be the largest day of planned protests and rioting.

Keep up with the news at it comes out at Memeorandum, links to all the news reports and live updates from all over. (Specific link to those stories right now, here)