Internet down in Egypt

According to tvnz.co.nz :

Internet access in Egypt appears to have been completely cut off by the government as protests continue in the country.

Almost all access into and out of the country has been cut off tonight, according to reports in The Guardian and elsewhere.

According to blogs.forbes.com

For the first time in modern history a major Internet economy is being shut down. The Egyptian government appears to have cut off web and mobile phone access to much, if not most of its citizens ahead of a weekend of mass demonstrations against Hosni Mubarak. The country’s controversial president has been in power for nearly 30 years.

According to guardian.co.uk

An analysis by Renesys, which provides real-time monitoring of internet access, says that “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.”

According to pcworld.com

Earlier in the week, the Egyptian government had reportedly blocked access to Facebook and Twitter, but with large protests expected Friday, it has apparently taken new steps to prevent people from communicating. ” In this case the government seems to be taking a shotgun approach by ordering ISP’s to stop routing all networks,” BGPmon said.

There seems to be only a limited internet connection available in Egypt right now and the Government is making a huge mistake by pulling the plug.

  1. By shutting down the internet, it peaked the interest of International users of internet to find out MORE about why the protesters do what they do
  2. People who once don’t know or don’t care about Egypt political events may just got shocked about the possibility about their own government ability to shut the internet down
  3. Shutting down internet may means they want to HIDE information from leaking out, what information are the Egypt Government are trying to hide? Now the world wants to know
  4. This event might draw INTERNATIONAL journalist into Egypt creating a possible an international incident.
  5. If Egypt can do it, other countries MAY follow suit…but looking at the result may end badly probably a civil war

I cannot imagine how a government can do such things such as cutting the Internet & text messaging service, some vital services may still function but Internet is still important to many small & medium online businesses that depends on advertising & sales online.

Internet videos, photographs, VOIP like Skype, twitter, facebook, google search, blogs, eBay, Amazon and many more may already formed part and parcel of many lives in Egypt.

If the government are trying to block Internet access via IP blocking, there’s many other options available from VPN to proxies to access such sites and information still flows, but by cutting the whole ISP from routing Internet access that’s like chopping your own body parts to stop the cancer from growing within.

What the government should actually do is to communicate with the people in a more “subtle way” and get REAL feedback from their own people via the internet, ask the people what they want and then announce online what the government can offer.

This delicate compromise must be set in motion early so that the majority of the masses do not follow popular websites or blogs to post their “feedback” and anyone with less empathy can distort the facts & spread lies easily using these feedback as fact.

If the world now are build around the Internet including vital communication (home phones using internet), entertainment (Internet streaming videos), multi-player gaming, social networking with overseas friends are severed…even people who are NOT protesting WILL become angry.

Some businesses are build using the Internet as part of their vital means of advertising their products to their customers & subscribers, those businesses may lose potentially LOTS of money per day.

I feel that by shutting down the Internet may be the last nail into the coffin for the Egyptian government and the hammer down by their own hands