Saturday, January 29, 2011
Egypt severs internet connections
David John Walker Jan 28th, 2011 Featured News, World. RSS 2.0.
Egypt began shutting down all internet services at 10:12 p.m. local time Thursday night because the country is facing increasing political unrest including clashes between tens of thousands of protestors and security forces. According to Jim Crowie, chief technology officer at a network security company in New Hampshire, Egypt no longer existed on the internet by 10:25 p.m.
Egypt also shut down its cell phone services with the cooperation of international companies. Vittorio Colao, chief executive of Vodafone Group, PLC, spoke about the situation at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Colao said Egyptian authorities requested mobile operators to “turn down the network totally”. Vodafone Group PLC, based in the U.K., owns 55% of the biggest carrier in Egypt, Vodafone Egypt. Colao said the request to shut down services was consistent with Egyptian law but hoped they would soon reverse the decision and take a different approach.
Dozens of internet providers in Egypt depend on Telecom Egypt and four other big carriers to provide internet connectivity. After Telecom Egypt shut down at 10:12 p.m., the other four carriers followed suit over the next 13 minutes.
Myanmar, China, and other countries coping with political and civil unrest have cut down on the internet and mobile use but Egypt has jolted the world by eliminating these services entirely, an unprecedented move, and surprising for a country with such developed infrastructure and numerous internet providers. Mr. Cowie explained “What’s shocking about this is that they didn’t just take down a certain domain name or block a website – they took the whole internet down”