Confirming what a few have reported this evening: 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.
But how/why did this happen? There’s a video here explaining:
January 14th - Revolution in Tunisia
Mass protests lead to the overthrow of Tunisian President Ben Ali.
Movements begin in other Arab countries with authoritarian governments.
January 25th - The Day of Anger
Tens of thousands gather in Egypt for demonstrations organized mainly through social media. Young, working class Egyptians protest against Political Suppression, Police Brutality, Poverty and Government Corruption under President Hosni Mubarak.
January 26th - Social Media Revoked
Fearing revolution, Egyptian authorities block Facebook and Twitter to keep people from planning future protests.
January 28th - Today.
All internet traffic into and out of Egypt ceased. Cell phone calls, SMS and Blackberry Messenger services are also blocked.
80 million people of Egypt have lost the ability to communicate and access information through the internet but you haven’t. Stay informed, educate the people you know and reblog. Censorship by many governments has repressed Internet Users enough but a full blackout is unreal. It’s happened there and it can happen anywhere if we let it.
Reports of Syria, another heavily censorsed country, has also blocked all internet service. Syria was well-known for a tight control of the internet which was tightened further after the unrest in Tunisia, reports Reuters. Now, Al Arabiya is reporting that internet services have gone down completely in the country. Read the Huffington Post’s report on it here.
Reports are emerging that the Internet is not down in Syria, although the previous service disruptions are in place. This is a developing story. More to come.