Practical Technology

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The Internet goes dark in Egypt


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.

According to James Cowie, Renesys’ CTO, “In an action unprecedented in Internet history, the Egyptian government appears to have ordered service providers to shut down all international connections to the Internet. Critical European-Asian fiber-optic routes through Egypt appear to be unaffected for now. But 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.”

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