Egypt Shuts Down The Internet. Now What?

Filed as Editorial on January 28, 2011 2:31 am

Unable to contain the unrest in the streets, Egypt has apparently cut off internet access throughout the country (preventing bloggers from even emailing their posts in order to get around the social networking ban).

The Egyptian government is even reportedly turning off SMS as well as landlines in order to keep people from communicating to the outside world.

With very few bloggers able to blog, tweet or Facebook events happening in one of the worlds oldest countries, what measures should bloggers take in order to get the word out?

While it’s uncertain what steps the Egyptian government will take in order to keep the word out from what is happening in Egypt, here are a couple of measures bloggers can take to make sure their voices are not silenced.

Satellite Phone FTW

For bloggers and social networking guru’s able to afford a satellite phone, this would be the ideal way of getting around the Egyptian information blockade.

Bloggers could use a satellite phone as a modem and still be able to post images, video and text to Twitter, their personal blog or even Facebook (note: there are reports that Facebook is complying with the censorship, but these are unverified right now).

Of course the Egyptian government will be on the lookout for users with this device, so bloggers (and even reporters) should be cautious and make every attempt to appear anonymous.

Radio Killed The Censorship Czar

While not as attractive as a laptop, bloggers with access to a radio broadcasting device might be able to keep users informed with what is happening within the nation to those of us in the outside world.

Although ham radio isn’t as popular as Twitter when it comes to communicating to the masses, it’s better than not having anything at all.

In order to avoid being silenced due to lack of power (which Egypt also controls), users should find a way to make them self sufficient via wind up power or (if one is able) hooking it up to a solar panel.

Any Other Ideas?

If your country decided to shut off the internet, what measures would you take to communicate with the outside world?

Feel free to share your thoughts below (anonymously if you’re in Egypt right now).

Image Credit: Ham Radio by Emil Neuerer

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