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Tens of Thousands Protest In Cairo, Twitter Blocked 167

Haffner writes "Protests in Cairo, Egypt have now reached the tens of thousands. Police have deployed water cannons and tear gas. I am writing this live from Cairo, where I witnessed a throng of 1000-3000 march towards Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo. I also witnessed 300-500 protesting on one of the bridges heading downtown. Most importantly, twitter has been blocked by many national carriers." Why Twitter? As reader pinkushun writes "Using Twitter and Facebook, the people instigated a series of fast-moving, rapidly shifting demos across half a dozen or more Egyptian cities. The police could not keep up – and predictably, resorted to violence. Sadly this has led to three known deaths thus far." Update: 01/26 02:05 GMT by T : Jake Appelbaum is tweeting up a storm about the state of the active filters.
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Tens of Thousands Protest In Cairo, Twitter Blocked

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  • by Josh Triplett ( 874994 ) on Tuesday January 25, 2011 @07:28PM (#35001102) Homepage

    The linked story talks about the reasons for the protest in Cairo (namely, wanting the current president of 29 years out, and wanting the 29-year "state of emergency" and corresponding suspension of rights to stop). The summary here just talks about the actions taken against the protesters, and the blocking of Twitter.

  • Mubarak leaving soon (Score:5, Informative)

    by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Tuesday January 25, 2011 @07:30PM (#35001134)
    Probably the fact that Mubarak has been effectively a dictator for the past few decades, with elections rigged to where he is the only true candidate and voting is monitored by thugs. The main opposition force in Egypt during Mubarak's reign, the Muslim Brotherhood, has had many of its leaders and some supporters arrested, killed, or run out of the country. On top of this, Mubarak is getting pretty old, and it is expected that he will not run in many more elections. So, essentially, the government is in a weakened and uncertain state, and many Egyptians see the chance for a real chance of democracy, instead of Mubarak simply naming his successor who would then run the country for another couple decades.
  • by Zedrick ( 764028 ) on Tuesday January 25, 2011 @07:31PM (#35001142)
    Egypt is not a monarchy, it's a normal 20th century dictatorship ruled by a president.
  • by theaveng ( 1243528 ) on Tuesday January 25, 2011 @07:32PM (#35001146)

    The blood of patriots and tyrants waters the Tree of Liberty. It is its natural fertilizer.

    - Jefferson

    Jefferson later retracted his statement when he saw the 1786 French Terror. Revolution is good if it's moderated but too often it falls into a new tyranny worse than the original (fall of Rome to Dictatorship, fall of Russia to communism, fall of China to fascism, and so on).

  • by br00tus ( 528477 ) on Tuesday January 25, 2011 @07:43PM (#35001252)
    For decades, the US (and Israel, and western Europe) saw Egypt as the biggest threat to their "national interests" in the Middle East. Which is why England and France attacked Egypt in 1956. Why is why Israel attacked Egypt and occupied the Sinai in 1967. Nasser was THE leading voice of pan-Arab nationalism - after all, many of the Arab states had their maps drawn by white westerners. Nasser even convinced other Arab leaders to have military alliances under joint command in battles against Israel.

    Then there was a significant peace proposal from Egypt in the early 1970s to Israel and diplomatic reach to the US. This was ignored, probably to everyone's eventual detriment. Egypt began arming, while Israel was full of some hubris due to its 1967 military victory. In 1973 Egypt sent its forces to regain the Sinai and Israel did very badly, the US had to bail out Israel to a large extent. This started the OPEC oil embargo, if anyone is old enough to remember the long gas lines in the 1970s in the US.

    At Camp David, Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty. Egypt turned from the USSR to the USA, and has been getting about $2 billion a year from the US up until a few years ago. Usually $700 million or more of that was economic aid up until a few years ago. In 2009, economic aid went down to $200 million or so. On top of those cuts, Egypt has been hit by the world economic slowdown as well. It is also under a ruthless dictatorship that the annual $1.3 billion in US military economic aid helps prop up. How many of the 9/11 hijackers were Egyptian? A number of them - and the cleric who was behind the first WTC bombing was Egyptian as well. Many Egyptians have been unhappy with the US meddling in the country for years - and recently, that $700 million in economic aid has been cut to almost nothing just as their economy began feeling the global economic slowdown.

  • Re:Protesting.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Magic5Ball ( 188725 ) on Tuesday January 25, 2011 @07:53PM (#35001330)

    Some friends in Cairo would like to bypass some of the online censorship measures. I've quickly suggested some things (below) to consider overnight. What have I missed?

    Anonymous connection:
    https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/01/help-eff-research-web-browser-tracking [eff.org]

    https://www.eff.org/https-everywhere/ [eff.org]

    http://www.hotspotshield.com/ [hotspotshield.com]

    And services like:
    http://filesharefreak.com/2008/10/18/total-anonymity-a-list-of-vpn-service-providers/ [filesharefreak.com]
    but verify on the ground.

    Only if they understand the tradeoffs:
    http://www.privoxy.org/ [privoxy.org]
    https://techstdout.boum.org/TorDns/ [boum.org]

    Avoid random lists of anonymous proxies or DNS servers.

    To secure the computer:
    Use a popular boot disk that leaves nothing behind, e.g.:
    http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop/get-ubuntu/download [ubuntu.com]

    Remove metadata:
    http://owl.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/ [queensu.ca]
    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyId=144E54ED-D43E-42CA-BC7B-5446D34E5360&displaylang=en [microsoft.com]
    and similar for other files they may deal with.

    Delete/wipe files securely.

    Many uses:
    http://mailinator.com/ [mailinator.com]
    http://www.hushmail.com/ [hushmail.com]

    http://www.disconnectere.com/ [disconnectere.com]
    and its analogues

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 25, 2011 @07:55PM (#35001376)

    No, he probably means Malaysia. The islamists aren't a significant issue in Tunisia, although the former dictator of the country certainly did his best to make it seem like they could be whenever discussing the matter with western backers. "Yes, I'm a terrible person, but you wouldn't want the radical islamists to get power, would you?" It's a trick worth free billions and plenty of weapons to oppress the opposition^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hterrorists. It's an arrangement of convenience that, in the long run, is a bad deal.

    Good riddance. They're an oppressor and I have ZERO sympathy for them. When the west backs them it gives us a bad name. If it leads to more radical islamist regimes because that's what the people really want in their country, then too fricking bad. It's democracy: deal with it. But in reality it's not usually what the people want. The danger is that the extreme radicals manage to hijack the democratic process and become the new oppressors by grabbing complete power. While a genuine risk, the way forward is to encourage real democracy -- not overtly, or in a meddling sort of way, because that could be mistaken for interference and play into the hands of ultra-nationalists -- but simply by saying "Yeah, if you do set up a real, pluralistic democracy, of course we'll work with you just like any other democratic country. Go the path of a new authoritarian regime, and we won't."

  • by sabt-pestnu ( 967671 ) on Tuesday January 25, 2011 @09:01PM (#35002118)

    > Which is why England and France attacked Egypt in 1956.
    ... which would be about the time Egypt nationalized the Suez canal [wikimedia.org], right?
        The Six-day war [wikimedia.org] in 1967 where Israel saw troops massing on all sides.
        The Yom Kippur War [wikimedia.org] in 1973 seeking to correct the 1967 'boundary changes' (and whatever else they could gain).
    The Camp David Accords [wikimedia.org] in 1978, returning the Suez Canal to Egypt, and Egypt officially recognizing Israel as a state. Just so we're clear which national interests we're speaking of, instead of some nebulous "we want".

    > many of the Arab states had their maps drawn by white westerners.

    Many of the Arab states that had their maps drawn by white westerners weren't states (as we use the term) until those maps were drawn.

    It is a testament to the durability of bureaucracies that even though those "nations" have been self-governing for some time, they haven't altered their borders to reflect the social boundaries that exist. Sudan is only recently coming to the point where it can consider changing its borders, and that only through armed violence.

    Even Iraq didn't try a three-state solution (Sunni, Shia, Kurd), though I can't say how much of that was the negotiators meddling, and how much was the fear of Turkey, Iran, and the Saudis snatching up the pieces if they did so.

  • by Smiths ( 460216 ) on Tuesday January 25, 2011 @09:02PM (#35002122)

    The Muslim Brotherhood has nothing to do with these protests. These are secular Egyptians from all around the country who for years have resented their leader whom is often a puppet to the US.

    All due respect but before spouting off about something as if youre an expert RTFA or research it on your own.

    http://mondoweiss.net/ [mondoweiss.net]

  • Re:wikileaks? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 25, 2011 @10:01PM (#35002570)


    And several similar articles. Basically the leaked US Diplomatic cables weighted heavily in the recent democratic Tunisian uprising, which appears to now be spreading to neighboring countries.

  • Re:Revolution is bad (Score:4, Informative)

    by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Wednesday January 26, 2011 @02:09AM (#35004920) Journal

    The American "revolution" was not a revolution. It was a war of national liberation for a newborn nation. Revolution is when you oust the government and take their place while remaining the same state.

The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable. -- John Kenneth Galbraith