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Egypt - Government Blocks Twitter and Facebook as Upheaval Rages On

Published on: January 26, 2011 03:07 PM
By:  Tecca
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An Egyptian blogger’s photograph of protesters gathered outside the lawyers’ syndicate in Cairo on Wednesday night. Gigi Ibrahim/Yfrog An Egyptian blogger’s photograph of protesters gathered outside the lawyers’ syndicate in Cairo on Wednesday night. Gigi Ibrahim/Yfrog

Egypt - When Egypt erupted into civil unrest yesterday, protesters took to Twitter and Facebook immediately to organize and concert their efforts. The country is roiling with opposition to the 30-year rule of President Hosni Mubarak, who is often referred to as “Egypt’s modern pharaoh” by detractors.  

The Egyptian government has reportedly cracked down on Twitter, shutting down national access to the site Tuesday. New reports indicate that Egypt may now blocking Facebook as well, preventing protesters from mobilizing further on pages like “We are all Khaled Said,” named after an Egyptian man (now a protest symbol) who was brutally beaten to death by police officers in Alexandria last year. 

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Social media is currently the best gauge of the situation in Egypt until more official reports emerge from the country. For the latest out of the country, follow Egyptian journalists like Mona Eltahawy or the Twitter livestream curated by Blogs of War.

Egypt’s unrest comes on the heels of a similar revolt in the Arab nation of Tunisia that effected the flight of the country’s president, Zine al Abidine Ben Ali. Tunisians also took to social sites like Twitter and Facebook to voice their growing dissent on an international stage. The Tunisian government was later caught in the process of harvesting the account information and passwords of its own citizens in an effort to crush the political upheaval that was already well underway



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 Jan 26, 2011 at 09:59 PM A E ANDERSON, Canterbury, New Zealand Says:

Hillary and Barack have hit the airwaves defending the right of the Egyptian mobs to free speech. Sounds nice and democratic until one reflects on similar mobs in Teheran some thirty years ago. Egypt has been a known hotbed of Islamic fundamentalism for many decades (seat of the Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda co-chief Dr. Ayman Al-Zawahiri). Unstable countries with significant street mob activity and militant political opposition groups require strongmen like Mubarak, Sadat, and Nasser, just as Yugoslavia needed its Marshal Tito and post-Civil War Spain needed Generalissimo Franco.

American leaders need to re-learn once again how to manage the strongmen who do our dirty work for us, without whom American lives would continue to be lost a la Iraq and Afghanistan.

I sincerely doubt that the result of Egyptian protests will be liberal democracy in any form. Most likely, the result will be some kind of Islamic republic in the Iranian mould.

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