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Egyptian ISP Goes Dark, but Twitter Users Get New Resources

Security researcher Renesys said Monday that the Noor Group, believed to be the last Egyptian ISP in operation, has now gone offline, meeting the same fate as Egypt's larger providers (Link Egypt, Vodafone/Raya, Telecom Egypt, Etisalat Misr), all of which went dark on Friday [Wired].

However, this new development may not thwart Egypt's activists. CNET's Tom Krazit reports that Google, in combination with Twitter and its SayNow engineers, has released a service for tweeting without an Internet connection. The Speak to Tweet service gives anyone with a voice connection the option of dialing three international numbers and sending their voice messages as tweets with the #egypt hash tag added.

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reports that Twitter users have joined forces in an attempt to find people whom families and friends report are missing in Egypt. A Twitter user based in Lebanon and another in Canada began the effort after friends of Wael Ghonim, Google's head of marketing for the Middle East and North Africa, tweeted that he went missing during a trip to Cairo for a conference. A relative says that Ghonim hasn't been heard from since Friday evening.

In other news involving Egypt, Human Rights Watch released on Monday a 96-page report on mistreatment of detainees, entitled "Work On Him Until He Confesses: Impunity for Torture in Egypt." The report, compiled prior to the current wave of mass protests in that country, says Egypt's government is "failing miserably" to provide help to victims of Egypt's police and security forces. According to CNN, the Human Rights Watch report cites the Egyptian government's own figures, showing that the country's criminal courts convicted only six police officers of detainee abuse between 2006 and 2009.

But if you're in China, don't expect to read any of the above information. Global Voices Advocacy reports that the term "Egypt" has been blocked from search results generated by some of China's major social media websites, forcing bloggers in that country to find ways around the tech roadblocks. Writer Oiwan Lam theorizes that China is filtering and blocking Egypt information because the scenes of tanks moving into the city center and confrontations between soldiers and the public are all too reminiscent of demonstrations leading up to the massacre in Beijing's Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989.

Written by Law.com managing editor Paula Martersteck.

Posted by Laurel Newby on February 1, 2011 at 05:05 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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