Egypt Internet Ban: 5 Ways the Protesters Are Beating the Blackout
Despite President Hosni Mubarak's effort to stifle communication among protesters, with a little help from Google, the Egyptian people are identifying creative methods to circumvent the Internet ban.
Surge Desk breaks down five strategies that Egyptians are using to bypass the Internet lock-down and continue tweeting the revolution.
1. Speak to Tweet
The most widely publicized effort against the Egyptian Internet ban is a Google, Twitter and SayNow collaboration called Speak to Tweet.
"Anyone can tweet by simply leaving a voice mail on one of these international phone numbers ... and the service will instantly tweet the message using the hashtag #egypt," Google explains. "No Internet connection is required."
People can also call phone numbers (+165-0419-4196 or +390-6622-07294 or +973-1619-9855) to listen to the tweets, or visit the @speak2tweet Twitter feed.
That's right, dial-up. International numbers to connect through this seemingly outdated method of accessing the Internet are circulating throughout Egypt, thanks to Net activists such as We Re-Build and Telecomix. After a little static, pinging and waiting, the dial-up numbers are allowing some users to hop back on the Internet.
3. Social media dashboards
Vancouver, Canada-based tech company HootSuite, which offers a third-party social media dashboard application for posting on sites such as Facebook and Twitter, reported a sevenfold increase in Egyptian subscriptions during January.
4. VPNs and proxy servers
Virtual private networks and proxy servers, both of which provide secure remote access to external networks, are being set up to facilitate Internet use in Egypt.
5. Who needs the Internet?
"[The Egyptians are] using old-fashioned word-of-mouth," according to Neil Hicks, policy adviser for Human Rights First, a nonprofit advocacy group. "They're aware of the possibilities of surveillance if they use these technologies. So they get on a motorbike or car and go to the next neighborhood and arrange things."
For more Surge Desk coverage on Egypt, check out:
Hosni Mubarak: 5 Facts on Egypt's Longest-Serving President
Mubarak Asks Egypt's Government to Resign, but What About Him? [VIDEO]
Egypt Internet May Return Soon; 3 Reasons Why [GRAPHIC]
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