Lights Out: Egyptian Government Shuts Off The InternetBy Chris Weiss
Call me naive, but I didn’t even know it was possible to shut the Internet off. It’s not exactly a garage light. But in an unprecedented move, the Egyptian government ordered Internet service providers around the country to cut off service, rendering most of the country Internet-less. That’s right no porn, no YouTube, no Facebook pings, no bored-at-work sites–nothing. Cell phone coverage was also cut out.
Egypt cut off communications to try to get protests under control. The protests began earlier this week in Cairo and around Egypt in reaction to government corruption and economic turmoil. The government has struggled to keep the escalating protests under control and wanted to cut access to inflammatory videos and messages.
Something tells me cutting off Internet access won’t make people any less likely to protest against the government. While the move was made to limit access to videos and social networks that were reportedly fueling the fire, it seems like effectively stranding the Egyptian people from outside communications via computer and telephone is a more combustible fuel than anything you’d find on Facebook or YouTube. [via NY Times and CNN]