This post is part of our special coverage of Egypt Protests 2011.Egypt has just upped its war on the Internet, and cut access to mobile phone communications, in areas where thousands of protesters are reportedly gathering in today's Day of Revolution. The aim seems to be an attempt to control the flood of protesters and strangle the movement.
Demonstrations have sprung across the country today, with calls for the end of President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule, corruption, economic failings as well as other grievances. Word of the protests and gathering points have been announced on social networking sites, including microblogging site, Twitter, which has been blocked by the authorities.
Such censorship has sparked the anger of activists, especially since it is the first time in Egypt's history that such heavy-handedness is used to silence people online. The move is a stark reminder of the iron fist with which ousted Tunisian strongman Zeine El Abidine Ben Ali clamped down on the Internet, in neighbouring Tunisia, whose uprising has inspired millions of Arabs.
From Cairo, Eman Hashim tweets:
mubarak regime is blocking internet access to us. keep spreading the word. we are being trapped #25jan
Twitter is banned now from home DSL and soon from mobiles. we r being trapped
Mohamed ElGohary adds:
TWITTER IS BLOCKED IN EGYPT #Jan25
And Alaa Abd El Fattah is livid and screams:
reminder THERE IS NOTHING IN EGYPTIAN LAW THAT ALLOWS FOR BLOCKING WEBSITES. not a single clause, the ISPs are responding to illegal orders
Rami Raoof suggests a way of by passing the block:
netizens in #Egypt- if you want to access Twitter.com & Bambuser.com download TOR from http://torproject.org #Jan25
Phone lines seem to be jammed too.
Sally Sami reports:
Just left tahrir square. Tear gas being bombed and all mobile lines not working mostly #jan25
Mobinil lines present in tahrir square have been disconnected #jan25
And news sites are also being filtered, to stop news of the protests from spreading.
Jordanian Tololy notes:
Dostor.org (independent news website covering #Jan25 protests live) blocked for the 2nd time in #Egypt #ArabProtest
And Suad Al Subaie adds:
Pictures of Husni Mubarak have been torn down in public. 100+ arrested. 3 Major news channels prevented from covering #Egypt #jan25
For more on the developments in Egypt, follow the hashtag #Jan25