Posts tagged “Egypt”

Egypt’s Internet Blackout Highlights Danger of Weak Links, Usefulness of Quick Links

“In response to ongoing protests, Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak ordered a shutdown of all Internet access for five whole days, from January 28 to February 2, but social media and news continued to flow in and out of the country thanks to a group of protagonists dedicated to supporting the flow of information.

EFF board member and co-founder John Gilmore once described the technical robustness of the Internet against censorship by saying: ‘The Internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.’ Egypt’s Internet blackout demonstrated an additional dimension to this adage: that the Internet’s anti-censorship features are enhanced by, and to some extent may depend upon, the willingness of individuals and companies to stand up for free expression.”

From EFF

Silencing Internet dissent amid tensions across the Middle East

“London. When Tunisia’s “Jasmine Revolution” took the country by storm in January, one of the region’s most sophisticated censorship regimes came to an end. The wave of unrest that followed underscored the power of social media and the tools governments use to counter them.

Many Middle Eastern governments cite the need to preserve morality and traditional ways of life to justify censorship of religious and adult sites. But activists say censorship often extends to political content.

The Committee to Protect Journalists’ (CPJ) Internet Advocacy Coordinator Danny O’Brian describes the online situation in the region as an arms race between those who wish to curtail information and those seeking to spread it. This high-tech war employs increasingly sophisticated technical and non-technical tools to block information on the Internet.”

From The Citizen

Fear and the Internet

“Like nature, the Internet is an implacable, impersonal force. In moments of popular revolt, it can be used both to overcome fear and to create it.

In both Egypt and Tunisia, the Web appears to have played an initial role in organizing demonstrations against autocratic regimes.”

From The Washington Post

Should governments and spies spend more time on Twitter?

“With unrest and chaos apparently having taken Egypt’s rulers and Western states by surprise, governments and spies are increasingly looking to social media like Twitter to detect political threats in advance.

Protesters who overthrew Tunisian President Ben Ali and brought revolution to the streets of Egypt used sites such as Twitter and Facebook to coordinate action. While few credit social media with causing the uprisings, the speed of instant communication it allows is believed to have accelerated events. With so much more human interaction taking place online, and Tunisia and Egypt proving online dissent can swiftly yield real world consequences, governing authorities are interested.

Experts say the real advantage of monitoring social media sites is that it can give those in authority the chance to detect public anger early and engage in the debate, hopefully heading off discontent before it reaches the streets.”

From The Globe and Mail

Freed Google executive says he helped spark Egypt revolt

“The young Google Inc. executive detained for 12 days for protesting against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said Monday he was behind the Facebook page that helped spark what he called “the revolution of the youth of the Internet.”

Wael Ghonim, a marketing manager for the Internet company, sobbed throughout an emotional television interview just hours after he was freed. He insisted he had not been tortured and said his interrogators treated him with respect.

“This is the revolution of the youth of the Internet and now the revolution of all Egyptians,” he said, adding that he was taken aback when the security forces holding him branded him a traitor.”

From The Globe and Mail

Google Executive Remains Missing in Egypt

“Google engineers spent last weekend working with Twitter to build a service for people in Egypt without Internet access to post messages to Twitter by leaving a telephone voicemail.
Wael Ghonim, who leads Google’s marketing for the Middle East and North Africa, stopped posting messages online on Jan. 27. Wael Ghonim, who leads Google’s marketing for the Middle East and North Africa, stopped posting messages online on Jan. 27.”

From The New York Times

The Hopeful Network

“CAIRO — Most of the world got a crash course in the Egyptian opposition movement this month, as mass protests broke out on the streets of Cairo. From all appearances, the movement emerged organically in the wake of the overthrow of the government in nearby Tunisia, as hundreds of thousands of angry citizens turned out to demand President Hosni Mubarak immediately step down. Several days after the marches began, former International Atomic Energy Agency chief and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mohamed ElBaradei arrived on the scene to give the marchers in the streets a nominal leader and media-savvy public face. And shortly after that, Egypt’s largest opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, joined in, lending its political heft to the movement.

But the groundwork for the Egyptian uprising was set well before these high-profile figures and organizations became involved. Nearly three years ago, a group of youth activists with a strong sense of Internet organizing and more than a little help from abroad was preparing for a grassroots, high-tech opposition movement.”

From Foreign Policy

Egypt is burning and th Internet is burning with Surveillance

“Earlier last year, the Network World website revealed an important piece of news here about a US based company called NARUS that develops traffic intelligence technology developing a scary sleuth for social media. The technology code named “Hone” technology worked with an application NarusInsight to connect different profiles to one person.

The company and its sneaky technologies came into world knowledge again as Al-Jazeera’s recent report about the recent Internet shutdown in Egypt gives facts about this US based Boeing’s sister company called NARUS located in Sunnyvale California played an important role in burning and shutting down the Internet Egypt by providing the DPI Deep Packet Inspection technology to the Egyptian government.”

From Internet’s Governance

How Twitter engineers outwitted Mubarak in one weekend

“When they first came to office, the Obama team had a mantra: ‘Never waste a good crisis”. They then spent the next two years doing exactly the opposite. In the past few months we’ve seen a couple of decent crises – the first involving WikiLeaks, the second involving the political upheavals in Tunisia and Egypt. Both involve the internet in one way or another. So, in the spirit of Obama Mk I, let us ponder what might be learned from them.

As far as the leaked US cables are concerned, the fury of the US administration and of certain US politicians was, for a time, positively comical. It stopped being funny when they began talking about prosecuting Julian Assange for “espionage”, given the draconian penalties that a conviction would carry. But the State Department’s indignation over the leaks of allegedly valuable secrets was, and remains, preposterous.”

From The Guardian