Egypt goes offline
Just after midnight Cairo time on Jan. 28, 3, 500 Internet Border Gateway Protocol routes connecting Egypt to the rest of world vanished from sight. It didn't take long to figure out that Egyptian service providers, under pressure from a government besieged by political protest, had cut connectivity to the Internet. Mobile telecommunications were similarly affected. As soon as access returned five days later, Egyptians logged back on to social networks. In the next few months, Libya and Syria also moved to sever the Internet and various African regimes blocked social networks in the face of election tumult. As the Internet becomes an increasingly important organizational tool and information conduit, such attempts to cut connectivity amid political unrest will no doubt continue.