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Egypt Shuts Off All Internet Access 840

Posted by timothy
from the why-not-call-their-skype-accounts? dept.
h00manist writes "Several sources are reporting Egypt has shut off all Internet access. There is still no official confirmation. Blackberry, twitter and SMS seem confirmed off. So, if you were there, what would you do to get communications for everyone? Do you still have a POTS modem?"
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Egypt Shuts Off All Internet Access

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  • Blackberry too (Score:5, Informative)

    by cranky_chemist (1592441) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @09:25PM (#35027138)

    According to the LA Times, they've blocked the Blackberries, too.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2011/01/blackberry-internet-blocked-in-egypt.html [latimes.com]

  • by tayhimself (791184) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @09:29PM (#35027180)

    Egypt is somewhat progressive for a muslim state, but that's not saying much. That said, make sure you don't confuse America friendly with progressive. The two do not go hand in hand, at least in the muslim world.

    That said, Egypt has a decent sized Christian minority (15%) that I think does OK which again is rare for a muslim state

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 27, 2011 @09:39PM (#35027268)

    I am not sure if I would classify Egypt as a muslim state in the traditional sense. The majority of the government, including the president, are actually Christian.

  • ham radio (Score:5, Informative)

    by molo (94384) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @09:39PM (#35027272) Journal

    There's a couple options here. POTS modem is a decent choice for data, until it gets blocked. Satellite internet should work also, but could be subject to jamming. Shortwave radio to listen to international broadcasts (BBC World Service, VOA, Deutsche Welle, etc.) is a good option for receiving information and news. They could still jam broadcasters that they don't like (but hard to get all of them).

    Ham radio would be the best option, as it doesn't depend on anyone else's infrastructure, and equipment can be run from 12V batteries. Many frequency bands to choose from to avoid interference or jamming. Many digital modes can be used to relay articles, some with forward error correction. Voice modes are available for those without digital interfaces. Can be short range to arrange local protests if needed (VHF/UHF), possibly with a handheld transceiver. It can be long range on the HF bands (shortwave), potentially communicating over thousands of miles and across borders.

    -molo

  • Re:HAM (Score:5, Informative)

    by Wyatt Earp (1029) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @09:40PM (#35027282)

    Here is the website for the amateur radio operators of Egypt organization

    http://www.qsl.net/egyptham/ [qsl.net]

    Their call signs are - SUA-SUZ, 6A-6B, SSA-SSM
    And wikipedia says theres about 113, really easy for the police and security forces to lock down.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amateur_radio_callsigns_of_the_Middle_East [wikipedia.org]

  • Re:CQ? (Score:5, Informative)

    by v1 (525388) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @09:55PM (#35027450) Homepage Journal

    It doesn't work like in the movies. Triangulating a transmitter takes time, coordination, and experience. (I consider myself one of the better foxhunters in my state) And if the person doesn't want to be found, they can make it extremely difficult to pin down.

    Both german-controlled france and russia took the same novel approach trying to find spies transmitting in WW2... they'd cut power to parts of the city a chunk at a time until the signal went off the air, then tear apart that area. Shows just how difficult it can be. Nowadays though with dopplars and haddock arrays they don't have to shut down the grids, but finding the actual transmitter remains very difficult. (I've been foxhunting for just about 20 yrs)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 27, 2011 @09:57PM (#35027472)

    Turkey is a secular state. Religious political parties are banned in their constitution.

  • by tnk1 (899206) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @10:02PM (#35027518)

    The thing is that Turkey is not a Muslim state in the way that Saudi Arabia or even Egypt is. Its a state that is mostly Muslims, but even with their somewhat more religious leaning government recently, Turkey took its cues from France and under Mustapha Kemal Ataturk made the state a secular state with its own form of laicite.

    It wasn't the West that abolished the Caliphate, it was the Turkish government that did that. Other initiatives included insisting on western apparel for everyone and even developing a Turkish alphabet based on Latin characters instead of using Arabic characters. A very big change for the state that used to be the center of the Ottoman Empire, and the Islamic Caliphate.

    Turkey, of course, has its own issues with human rights, and no one wants to be in a Turkish prison, but religion isn't the largest, by far. Their bigger problems are more of the ethnic variety, like with the Greeks on Cyprus and the Kurds they have in their own country. When it comes to those issues, the Turkish do have a fairly big problem on their hands.

  • by Animats (122034) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @10:06PM (#35027558) Homepage

    There are major outages, but the entire country of Egypt is not off line. Cairo is hard to reach, but Alexandria seems to be up via some routes. Delay on the last link to the Alexandria gateway is about 70ms.

  • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @10:07PM (#35027572)

    Thomas Jefferson said the same thing almost 200 years ago. The US will be an example to the rest of the world of how a free people can prosper and enjoy life, and people around the globe will rise-up and throw-off their shackles.

    The only part of the equation he was missing was the use of books, movies, and music as the enticement to make people say, "I want what the US has."

  • by Thing 1 (178996) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @10:22PM (#35027692) Journal
    So disturbing it won't play. I saw the other one at YouTube though, at 0:13 the guy gets shot by a sniper for "picking something up". (Was it a pistol? I couldn't tell. Even if it was, was it a threat to the sniper who was hundreds of feet away?)
  • BGPMon Analysis (Score:5, Informative)

    by mbone (558574) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @10:26PM (#35027742)

    There is a quick look BGP level analysis available from BGPMon [bgpmon.net]. Except for Noor Data Networks, the number of announced address blocks is way down. This means that most Egyptian IP addresses are now not reachable from the rest of the world.

    Here is BGPMon on the dating of the outage :

    At this point egypt.gov.eg is offline. This network, 81.21.104.0/24 was withdrawn at January 27th at 22:28 UTC . Another example is www.ahram.org.eg an Egyptian news paper. This network 196.219.246.0/24, became unreachable at the exact same time, January 27th at 22:28 UTC.

    I think that it is safe to assume that this outage is related to the big protests planned for tomorrow.

  • by kevinNCSU (1531307) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @10:27PM (#35027744)
    Yes, by the very definition of despot. Despot != human rights violations. Despot != atrocities. Despot means a single ruler with absolute power. An elected official sharing power with 2 other branches of government and whom gives up their office after their term is up because they don't have the power or authority to stay in charge is by definition is not a despot no matter how much you may not like them or the choices they made.
  • by nedlohs (1335013) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @10:43PM (#35027878)

    Snipers always shoot people who aren't a threat to the sniper themselves. That's what they are for.

  • by markgohara (1210640) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @10:45PM (#35027892)
    Mubark is Muslim and the government is mostly Muslim. Please get your facts right before saying something completely ridiculous.
  • Re:HAM (Score:4, Informative)

    by Abstrackt (609015) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @11:00PM (#35028016)
    Slow Scan Television (SSTV).
  • by kbahey (102895) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @11:39PM (#35028294) Homepage

    Here is what I wrote earlier today Views from an Egyptian [slashdot.org].

    Mod it up if you think it is informative.

  • by goodmanj (234846) on Friday January 28, 2011 @12:02AM (#35028430)

    Is he? There's a bunch of security-crazy congressmen who want to give him that power, but I haven't seen any statement by the White House asking for this power.

  • Re:CQ? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Friday January 28, 2011 @12:27AM (#35028592) Homepage Journal

    "And if the person doesn't want to be found, they can make it extremely difficult to pin down."

    Not any longer. You start with a sensitive radio that picks up the signal from afar, and you switch to far less sensitive devices until even a REALLY strong signal can't be picked up/won't register until you're on top of it. Several layers of shielding around your detection device can help with this.

    That's how I've been tracking down various stray signals that occasionally make it into my house - baby monitors, over-powered wireless routers (modified past allowable TX spec,) unencrypted wireless, non-licensed GMRS operators, etc.

    Makes for good practice in observing radio traffic and separating out the layers.

  • by spasm (79260) on Friday January 28, 2011 @01:03AM (#35028778) Homepage

    According to renesys, all but one of the ISPs are offline - the one which carries the country's stock exchange: http://www.renesys.com/blog/2011/01/egypt-leaves-the-internet.shtml [renesys.com]

  • by DesScorp (410532) <DesScorp.Gmail@com> on Friday January 28, 2011 @02:35AM (#35029118) Homepage Journal

    until we bombed them into the stone age.

    Really? Saddam gave women equal legal status, sure, but "legal status" under Saddam meant whatever Saddam's mood on a given day was. If Saddam's sons felt like raping your daughters... which seemed to be their favorite hobby... then that was the law. If that's your idea of progress, you can keep it.

    I think what you're going for is that Iraq under Saddam was secular, rather than just progressive. Secular doesn't necessarily equal progress. The Soviet Union , after all, had universal education, health care, and near-equal incomes. And everyone was near-equal miserable. Slaves usually are.

  • by sunbird (96442) <sunbird@NOSpAm.riseup.net> on Friday January 28, 2011 @05:13AM (#35029746)

    I've always considered Egypt to be on of the more progressive muslim states

    Whaaaaat? Egypt is ruled by a dictator that tolerates no dissent. There has been a state of emergency there for 44 years! Let's see, where to start. In 2009, the U.S. Department of State Human Rights report [state.gov] had this to say:

    Police, security personnel, and prison guards often tortured and abused prisoners and detainees, sometimes in cases of detentions under the Emergency Law, which authorizes incommunicado detention indefinitely, subject to a judge's ruling.

    and

    Police and the SSIS reportedly employed torture methods such as stripping and blindfolding victims; suspending victims by the wrists and ankles in contorted positions or from a ceiling or door frame with feet just touching the floor; beating victims with fists, whips, metal rods, or other objects; using electric shocks; dousing victims with cold water; sleep deprivation; and sexual abuse, including sodomy. There was evidence that security officials sexually assaulted some victims or threatened to rape them or their family members. Human rights groups reported that the lack of legally required written police records often effectively blocked investigations.

    It just goes on and on. And, keep in mind, the U.S. DOS reports tend to be very conservative, so when this stuff ends up in a DOS report, things on the ground are much, much worse.

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