Reports are coming in that Egypt is now under an Internet and SMS blackout, just hours before a new series of major protests are planned against the regime of President Hosni Mubarak.
Sebone, a major Egyptian service provider based in Italy, is reporting that no Internet traffic is entering or exiting the country as of 12:30 AM Egyptian time.
via Internet Access & SMS Blocked in Egypt as Protests Escalate. See also C.Net’s Reports: Internet disruptions hit Egypt.
At present, the US government only wants the power to monitor all communications, and to require intermediaries to store them for a couple of years in case law enforcement wants them later, not the power to pull a kill switch. That, fortunately, could never happen here.
Nor, of course, could torture.
UPDATE: On Twitter follow the #jan25 and #jan28 hash tags for user reports.
Tech reports at BGPMon, Internet in Egypt offline and Renesys, Egypt Leaves the Internet.
Why is nobody reminding us of Obama’s 2009 “historic” speech in Cairo? Why is nobody asking what role recent U.S. policy played?
Oh, that’s right, the superbowl is next week, american idol is on, and oprah found her sister.
No one? Seems like lots of folks are, e.g. this HuffPo article, Lack of a Consistent U.S. Message on Human Rights And Democracy Fuels Unrest In The Arab World.
And wasn’t there a front page article on the role of US policy regarding Egypt in today’s New York Times? Why yes there was, Cables Show Delicate U.S. Dealings With Egypt’s Leaders. True, it doesn’t mention Obama’s speech, choosing journalistically to focus on the new (leaked cables) but it does mention many other acts, especially by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
I thought I heard some discussion of the speech on both NPR (I think it might have been the on “The Take Away”) and on “Morning Joe” this week.
Also, don;t blame it all on American Idol and the Superbowl. Let’s not forget that the State of the Union was on earlier this week, “Baby Doc” is in Haiti, Tunisia and Yemen (and Maybe Jordan as well) are experiencing similar strife, and the summit in Davos is going on this week. It is not exactly a slow news week. Even in our current media environment, the media can only cover so much.
I stand corrected, sort of.
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