Egypt Internet Shutdown process explained

By on Jan 30, 2011 in Africa, Internet, Technology Comments

Updated February 2, 2011 11:22 pm.

ReadEgypt Internet restored, Facebook and Twitter going back to normal

As of this writing, Egypt is still suffering from street protests and Internet in their country was eventually put into shutdown to cut communication and sharing of information via the World Wide Web.

Apparently, some people might be wondering how Egypt Internet Shutdown was made possible, which many referred to as a difficult activity, in which an explanation was posted at Life’s Little Mysteries on Friday.

According to the report, not all countries can easily initiate a countrywide Internet shutdown which includes US, and not even President Barack Obama can immediately do acted on it, simply because the president is not holding the ‘physical switch’ as well as having control over the ISPs.

But in the case of Egypt Internet Shutdown, MIT computer scientist David Clark explained at a post in Life’s Little Mysteries and an infographic diagram was posted at, as shown below.

As another Internet expert at MIT named William Lehr also told Life’s Little Mysteries, the Egyptian government owns the country’s main service provider, Telecom Egypt, which means the state have significant control over the Internet access connections.

This means that President Hosni Mubarak mostly likely gave orders to shut down all the circuits that allow the incoming of traffic from Egypt to the rest of the world.

But as Mr. Lehr noted, there could be ‘some leaky ways’ to shutdown or bypass the Internet in Egypt since people can also use smartphones to browse the web. Private companies may also bypass the service providers to access Telecom Egypt.

“These sorts of leakage paths demonstrate that even if government seeks to control access to Internet by retaining an on/off switch, this can be challenging and may be circumvented by the determined few.” William Lehr said on the report.

“As the Internet gets more complex, the range of potential vulnerabilities, as well as the ways to work around those, also get more complex.” Lehr added.

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