Egypt Blocks Twitter as Protests Spread Across Country
Tunisia's Twitter revolution must have Egypt's rulers worried. Reports came in Tuesday (Jan. 25) that access to the popular microblogging service was blocked even as thousands demonstrated in the streets of Cairo and other cities.
mubarak regime is blocking internet access to us. keep spreading the word. we are being trapped #25jan, wrote one Egyptian tweeter, referring to President Hosni Mubarak, who's been in office 30 years. She added the hashtag #25jan used by supporters of the Egyptian protesters.
On Jan. 14, the dictator of nearby Tunisia, who had ruled for 23 years, fled the country after a month of protests. Angry Tunisians coordinated their efforts through Facebook and Twitter, even as the country's security services tried to block them. (Read here how Facebook foiled those attempts.)
There was no indication that Facebook was blocked in Egypt Tuesday, but the Harvard-run HerdictWeb site showed a large number of Twitter outages in the country. Cell-phone outages were reported to be sporadic.
Tuesday is Police Day, a national holiday in Egypt, and citizens inspired by the events in Tunisia seized upon the occasion to protest decades of one-party rule, corruption and failed economic policies.