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Has Morsi Pulled a Mubarak and Cut the Internet Off Tahrir Square?

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Egypt, Breaking News, Citizen Media, Freedom of Speech, Politics, Protest

Egyptian netizens are reporting Internet cuts around Tahrir Square, the epi-centre of the Egyptian revolution while others are saying it is working fine.

If the Internet is being disrupted by the authorities, it brings to mind what happened on the second day of the start of the Egyptian revolution, when access to the Internet was cut off [1] in Egypt on January 26, 2011.

Egyptians are back to Tahrir Square today [Nov 23, 2012] to protest sweeping powers their new president Mohammed Morsi has granted himself. According to news reports, Morsi has neutralised the judiciary, declaring that courts will not be allowed to challenge his decisions. This has angered Egyptians, who have turned out en masse at Tahrir Square to protest what they call Egypt's new pharaoh and his Muslim Brotherhood organisation, which they say is grabbing too much power.

Back to the Internet cuts, Jadaliyya reports:

@jadaliyya [2]: Reports: cellphone & internet networks in Tahrir suspended. Minister of Communications: “These are policies in which I am not involved”

Majdi Abdelhadi quips:

@maegdi [3]: reports of cutting internet and mobile phone coverage in Tahrir area .. is Mubarak back ? #egypt

And others see the Internet cuts as an important move, to draw more crowds to the streets. Tarek Mostafa says:

@TarekMostafa [4]: Egyptian tweeps are calling to cut the cellphone signal & internet so all people join the protests. #Egypt #Nov23 #Tahrir

According to activists, it was the Internet cut which drove millions to the streets at the beginning of the Egyptian revolution, leading to the toppling of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak's 32-year rule after 18 days of massive protest.

On Twitter, Mai Abdelqader tweets:

@Mai_AbdelKader [5]: #Morsi, repeating #Mubarak's scenario, and disconnecting #Internet in #Tahrir area. #Cairo #Egypt

She adds:

@Mai_AbdelKader [6]: Can #Morsi be that much stupid to disconnect #Internet again? Unbelievable #Tahrir #Egypt

And Samar Elhussieny confirms:

: Internet & communication networks cut off in #Tahrir SQ #Egypt #23nov

However, But @Som3aNada writes [ar]:

الانترنت شغال في التحرير بطلوا اشاعات بقي

: The Internet is working in Tahrir. Please stop spreading rumours