Egyptian authorities have restored the country’s Internet connection after about 5 days of being shutdown starting January 28, 2011. Mobile phone service was also shutdown shortly after the Internet service providers pulled the plug.
Protests against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his government has been going on for several days and the disconnection was viewed as a way to disrupt communications among protest organizers. The protesters stood their ground, but thousands of Mubarak supporters clashed with them in Cairo. Hundreds of people have been killed in the violence while thousands more are injured.
Connectivity was restored on February 2 at 11:34AM local time in Egypt.
The Internet has now become a very powerful tool to communicate with a vast amount of people and has become the media of choice to instantly send and receive messages through various social networks like Twitter and Facebook. The ability of the Egyptian government to shut it down in a time of civil unrest is a wake up call to all democratic nations. The Internet should be protected as a media for freedom of expression, much like TV, radio and print media. Not to mention that for most of the foreigners caught between Egypt’s civil unrest, the internet and their mobile phones may be the only way they could communicate with their family back home.
Let us hope that the Philiippine government will not allow the Internet to be shutdown in our country, no matter how bad the situation may become. All freedom loving people should protect it.