The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

URGENT: Egypt has shut off the internet

I just received a call from a friend in Cairo (I won't say who it is now because he's a prominent activist) telling me neither his DSL nor his USB internet service is working. I've just checked with two other friends in different parts of Cairo and their internet is not working either.

This just happened 10 minutes ago — and perhaps not uncoincidentally just after AP TV posted a video of a man being shot.

Will update with more info. The ISPs being used by my friends are TEDATA, Vodafone, and Egynet.

Update: It's not everywhere. A foreign journalist at the Semiramis Intercontinental hotel says he has internet access.

Update 2: The Semiramis uses Noor as its ISP. I am trying to confirm whether Noor uses a different technology to connect to the internet, such as satellite, rather than the main fiber optic cables that connect Egypt to the rest of the world. If anyone knows about this, please let me know in the comments.   Never mind, they apparently use a dedicated fiber optic connection and a source said they did not receive any instructions.

Update 3: Via POMED:

The AP confirms that the Egypt government has disrupted Internet service and “deployed an elite special operations counterterrorism force” hours before a new wave anti-government protests are expected to begin. A major service provider for Egypt, Italy-based Seabone, reported early Friday that there was no Internet traffic going into or out of the country after 12:30 a.m. local time.

I received news earlier tonight that riot-control police were moving out of Central Cairo and that troops from 'Amaliya Khassa (Special Operations) were now in Central Cairo, wearing green fatigues. These are not military troops — they depend on the Ministry of Interior.