Find out from this must-read post at the National Democratic Institute’s blog.
Egypt’s embattled regime “dropped a digital iron curtain” over the Internet today severing traffic to the outside world in an unprecedented move that was designed to hinder communications between opposition protesters.
But it seems that Egyptians did what people did before the Internet was invented and digital social media came into our lives, communicating by word-of-mouth and even using old-fashioned ham radios.
“It turns out that when 80 million people are silenced, they make quite a large noise,” writes NDI’s Katherine Maher.
The digital iron curtain can’t be used too often, one analyst notes, and could even prove counter-productive.
The regime is taking a political risk in shutting down the Internet, according to Rafal Rohozinski, CEO of The SecDev Group and a Senior Scholar at the University of Toronto’s Canada Centre for Global Security.
“It will be a real test for the regime as to how much pain they are willing to endure in order to suppress political dissent,” he says, “recognizing that repression of the Internet may galvanize additional opposition among the business community, and other up-to-now unmobilized groups – who will take an economic hit as a result of this outage”