Egypt cuts internet, cell phones, CNNI, arrests ElBaradei

Egypt Leaves the Internet

every Egyptian provider, every business, bank, Internet cafe, website, school, embassy, and government office that relied on the big four Egyptian ISPs for their Internet connectivity is now cut off from the rest of the world. Link Egypt, Vodafone/Raya, Telecom Egypt, Etisalat Misr, and all their customers and partners are, for the moment, off the air.

Ironically, At last, Obama addresses Egypt protests – on YouTube

Answering questions during an online “town hall” with YouTube viewers, Mr. Obama spoke of Egypt’s longtime president, Hosni Mubarak. “I’ve always said to him that making sure that they are moving forward on reform – political reform, economic reform – is absolutely critical to the long-term well-being of Egypt,”

Which, of course, no one in Egypt can watch.

Cell phones are blocked, too,

The use of text message services on cell phones were also blocked in an effort to stop people from passing on information and mobilizing protesters.

Police seized CNNI’s camera,

CNN’s Ben Wedeman and Mary Rogers were under an overpass and behind a column as police tried to hold back protesters. Plainclothes police arrived, surrounded the CNN team and wanted “to haul us off,” Wedeman said. In a struggle, police grabbed Rogers’s camera, cracked its viewfinder, and confiscated it. Wedeman said the police threatened to beat them.

After returning to Egypt, Mohamed ElBaradei warned President Hosni Mubarak today that his regime is on its last legs. ElBaradei is now under house arrest.

Al-Jazeera reports that a curfew is imposed from 6pm to 7am local time.

[language warning on link] Mubarak has ruled Egypt for 30 years — longer than Cleopatra’s reign of 21 years, but Joe Biden’s saying Hey, Mubarak’s not a dictator

Richard Fernandez looks at the dustbins he has known, and is reading between the lines,

In spite of everything the whole region is in a race, but in the general direction of democracy. Things are up for grabs and the administration is trying to play catchup after running for two years in the opposite direction. That is, if it knows how.

Big “IF”.

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