In case you missed it: in the wake of recent events in Tunisia, Egypt has been experiencing a massive wave of protests against its ruling regime, fueled and organized to a significant degree via social media and modern telecoms. Probably having learned the wrong lessons from the impact of the internet on unrest and protests against authoritarian/autocratic regimes in Iran and now Tunisia, Egypt’ has decided to go with what I guess we’ll have to call the Luddite Gambit strategy for clamping down on protests and civil unrest in the Twitter age: they’ve shut off the internet.
All of it.
Well, almost all of it.
ZDNet’s Steven Vaughan-Nichols writes:
First, Egypt blocked social networks like Facebook and Twitter. I had no trouble believing the Egyptian government would do that. But, when I first heard that Egypt had blocked the Internet, I was inclined to doubt the stories. Since then though I’ve heard from a technically savvy source, Renesys, an Internet analytics firm, that Egypt really has blocked the vast majority of its Internet connections. In short, the Egyptian government has cut its people off from the Internet.
We don’t know what will happen now. This is the first time that a government has locked its population out of the world wide community of the Internet. I fear this will not end well.
Kind of terrifying. Yeah, wouldn’t be a stretch to bet that things might be about to go really sideways in Egypt.