Egypt Blocks Access To Facebook

Egyptian authorities are blocking access to Facebook within the country in an effort to quell anti-government demonstrations organized via the social network.

Egypt’s blockage was confirmed by Jillian York, a project coordinator at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society that oversees the Herdict service, who sent an email to Reuters.
However, the group We are all Khaled Said appears to be accessing Facebook via a proxy server, as a status update went up to the organization’s wall around when I started writing this post, saying “Situation can be summarized as street fighting across Cairo with focus in Central Cairo.A YouTube video posted on the group’s wall about two minutes later shows protesters jumping on an armed police vehicle trying to stop a water cannon.
The group’s explanation of its mission on the social network contains a possible clue about possibly getting around censorship by the Egyptian government — the address for the page includes a U.K. extension:
“Khaled Said, 28 years old, was tortured to death by 2 Egyptian Policemen in the street. The incident has woken up Egyptians to work against the systematic torture in Egypt and the 30 years running emergency law. We need international supporters to help us stand against Police brutality in Egypt. We invite you to support our cause. Join our Facebook page: to see how you can help.”
Some are comparing Egypt’s demonstrations to recent protests in Tunisia that led to the nation’s president stepping down from office, and given how the Tunisian uprising has been called a Facebook-powered revolution, one could see why the Egyptian government would want to block access to the social network.
Egypt’s blockage of Facebook today follows a similar move against Twitter yesterday, TechCrunch has reported, as the microblogging site has also helped protesters organize themselves.
Will the Egyptian government’s efforts to block access to social media ultimately strengthen protesters’ resolve and possibly strengthen support for the demonstration outside of Egypt?


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