Netizens are watching Sudan closely, following rumours that the Sudanese authorities intend to cut off the Internet – a chilling reminder of Egypt's attempt to silence activists and contain the January 25 revolution when it pulled the plug off the www on January 27.
On Twitter, Jordanian Ali Alhasani reports:
@_AHA: BREAKING: Reports that Internet has been CUT in #Sudan. If true then god be with them because we won't know anything! #SudanRevolts
Four hours ago, Egyptian journalist Salma Elwardany, who is reporting from Khartoum, tweeted:
@S_Elwardany: news that sudan govt might cut off internet #Sudanrevolts
In preparation for the anticipated blackout, a Speak to Tweet service has been set up. Rodrigo Davies tweets about it:
@rodrigodavis: Dear #Sudan, in case #Bashir cuts off the internet, Speak to Tweet using +16504194196 or +390662207294 #SudanRevolts #السودان_ينتفض
Netizens quickly compare notes on who is available online, in Sudan.
Sara Elhassan writes:
@BSonblast: @SudaneseThinker @Usiful_ME is in Sudan and he's still tweeting.
and Israeli Elizabeth Tsurkov adds:
@Elizrael: @JustAmira @SudaneseThinker seeing way too many people tweeting from Sudan for it to be true… See @elizrael/sudanpeeps
Protests broke out at Khartoum University on June 17, when hundreds of students denounced the government’s planned austerity measures. The protests were met with police brutality and arrests, fueling more anger and protests the following days.
CNN's Ben Wedeman comments:
@bencnn: If #Egypt weren't such a 24/7 news tsunami #Sudan might be getting more attention. Sudan has a rich history of rebellion and revolution.
Arab Revolution adds:
@ArabRevolution: Watching #SudanRevolts videos reminds me of how #Yemen started. Tens in the street, but very passionate. All out revolution within weeks.
And the lack of news in mainstream media of what is happening in Sudan is annoying activists. Egyptian blogger Wael Abbas asks [ar]:
Al Jazeera, which provided blanket live coverage of the Egyptian revolution from its epi-centre in Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo, has been credited with ‘exporting’ the revolution spark to the living rooms of homes across the Arab world.