January 2011
« Dec   Feb »



Egypt demonstrates why the Internet is unreliable

On Thursday, January 27th at 22:34 UTC (about 4:30 PM, NY time) Egypt cut off outside access to the internet.  According to Renesys:

At 22:34 UTC (00:34am local time), Renesys observed the virtually simultaneous withdrawal of all routes to Egyptian networks in the Internet’s global routing table. Approximately 3,500 individual BGP routes were withdrawn, leaving no valid paths by which the rest of the world could continue to exchange Internet traffic with Egypt’s service providers.

Go and read the entire article.  Notice how the government asked and the ISP corporations complied.  This is in response to massive riots and uprisings in Cairo and other cities which may topple the government.   Think that the internet and new media alone can keep our government honest and doing the people’s work?  Think again.  Net Neutrality is a pipe dream and would do nothing to stop this type of censorship regardless.

Free press is one of the critical legs of our democracy.  The traditional broadcasting and media has been decimated in the last 15 years.  They are not without fault, cutting staff, politically slanted reporting, profit taking have done there part.  Fortunately, while staffs have disappeared, the infrastructure (networks, transmitters, printing presses) remain in place.  They need to be revitalized and utilized.  There is a trend that I and others have noticed where small operators, perhaps one or two stations at most, are providing excellent service to their respective communities and running circles around other, group owned stations in the same market.

Be Sociable, Share!

4 comments to Egypt demonstrates why the Internet is unreliable

  • J. Aegerter

    Where there is a wire or fiber-optic cable, and somebody controlling it, corruption along with censorship is possible. Domestic radio broadcasting has shifted from a huge diversity of ownership to a few group conglomerates and networks. The Internet isn’t much different if a President can order an Internet shutdown which is a proposed bill in the U.S. Congress. It is these media bums who are cozy with the government, and will ‘go along to get along’. Jesse Ventura seems to like Mexico, and maybe a return of the English speaking “border blasters” might just be an alternative newsworthy source. And of course there is shortwave, but probably not enough people who know about it or have receivers.

  • Paul Thurst

    Yes, sadly, while this government chastises the Egyptian government for cutting off the internet, they are considering doing the same thing themselves with the Internet Kill Switch bill. You just can’t make this stuff up.

  • Someday, I hope we will learn more about the role “traditional” broadcast media (esp. radio) has played in the uprising – especially after losing the ‘net.

  • Paul Thurst

    John, that is an interesting angle. According to the CIA World Factbook:

    mix of state-run and private broadcast media; state-run TV operates 2 national and 6 regional terrestrial networks as well as a few satellite channels; about 20 private satellite channels and a large number of Arabic satellite channels are available via subscription; state-run radio operates about 70 stations belonging to 8 networks; 2 privately-owned radio stations operational (2008)

    According to several websites, there are about 10-12 FM stations in Cairo, about 7 of them stream audio and as of this morning, none of them where accessible from NY. Radio Cairo International (shortwave) also appears to be off the air. That station is state owned, still, it would be interesting to hear them on the air, I’ll set a preset on my radio and check back often.

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


A pessimist sees the glass as half empty. An optimist sees the glass as half full. The engineer sees the glass as twice the size it needs to be.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
~1st amendment to the United States Constitution

Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.
~Benjamin Franklin

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is hard business. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.
~Rudyard Kipling

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes the freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers
~Universal Declaration Of Human Rights, Article 19

...radio was discovered, and not invented, and that these frequencies and principles were always in existence long before man was aware of them. Therefore, no one owns them. They are there as free as sunlight, which is a higher frequency form of the same energy.
~Alan Weiner

Free counters!