Even Twitter is a Threat to China’s Mubaraks

Posted on Sun 01/30/2011 by

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Andrew BoltBy Andrew Bolt

China is nervous:

CHINA has blocked the word “Egypt’’ from the country’s wildly popular Twitter-like service, while coverage of the political turmoil has been tightly restricted in state media…

A search for “Egypt’’ on the Sina microblogging service brings up a message saying, “According to relevant laws, regulations and policies, the search results are not shown.’’

Egypt is even more nervous:

The ease with which Egypt was able to shutdown the Internet to cut off communications during violent, anti-government protests demonstrates the Internet’s vulnerability in countries where there are few service providers.

Egypt, where protests stem from frustration over government corruption, a depressed economy, and a lack of political freedom, started its Internet blockade this week by cutting off access to Twitter and Facebook. The sites are often used by protesters in troubled nations to organize demonstrations and stay a step ahead of police…. The Egyptian government, which has been led by President Hosni Mubarak for 30 years, was able to shutdown the Internet relatively easy because only four ISPs operate in the country…

Vodafone Egypt issued a statement saying all mobile phone operators had been ordered to suspend services in selected areas. “Under Egyptian legislation, the authorities have the right to issue such an order and we are obliged to comply with it,” the company said.

The effect has been dramatic:

Julien Coulon, co-founder of Cedexis, a French Internet performance monitoring and traffic management system, added: ”In 24 hours we have lost 97 percent of Egyptian Internet traffic… Around 23 million Egyptians have either regular or occasional access to the Internet, according to official figures, more than a quarter of the population.

The link between freedom and free speech couldn’t be lllustrated better.

UPDATE

Reader Tim says this graphic illustrates even better the link between oppression and free speech:


Andrew Bolt is a journalist and columnist writing for The Herald Sun in Melbourne Victoria Australia.

Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and is a regular commentator on Channel 9′s Today show and ABC TV’s Insiders. He will be heard from Monday to Friday at 8am on the breakfast show of new radio station MTR 1377, and his book Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.

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