Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Internet restored in Egypt as violence escalates

Internet services were at least partially restored in Cairo and other Egyptian cities today after a five-day cut aimed at stymieing protests against President Hosni Mubarak’s regime, Internet users said. Egypt’s four main Internet service providers cut off access to their customers in a near simultaneous move overnight last Thursday, two days after anti-Mubarak protests - many coordinated via the Internet - began.

Social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook have become increasingly important for protest organisers, with only a tiny number of users in the Egyptian capital able to access the Internet since Friday. Internet on mobile telephones was also cut, while mobile voice and text services were also severely disrupted.

Around 23 million Egyptians have either regular or occasional access to the Internet, according to official figures, more than a quarter of the population. The shutdown in Egypt was the most comprehensive official electronic blackout of its kind, experts said.
(Source: AFP/R Netherlands media Network Weblog)