By Curt Hopkins / January 27, 2011 3:45 PM
After blocking Twitter on Tuesday and, intermittently, Facebook and Google on Wednesday, the Egyptian government has upped the ante, throwing a complete Internet access block across the whole of the country. Additionally blocked are Blackberry service and SMS.
Reports are pouring in, many to Twitterers via landline, that the country has been “cut off” and is now a “black hole.”
Reports from Cairo, Alexandria and elsewhere in the country indicate the block is wholesale and countrywide.
CNN’s Ben Wedeman commented, “No internet, no SMS, what is next? Mobile phones and land lines? So much for stability” and asked “Will #Egypt totally cut communications with the outside world?”
That depends, I think, on whether the idea now is to disrupt communications between groups of protesters or to lay a blackout curtain across Egypt to mask a total crackdown. As many as eight protesters, three in Cairo and five in Suez, have been killed, along with one policeman. I think if landlines and mobile go, the question must become, is the Egyptian government planning a wholesale massacre? (AP has raw footage of security forces converging, then killing a protester. Please be warned. This is some vicious shit.)
Those in and outside of Egypt have pledged to keep as much in connection to one another using whichever avenues remain. This is one of those times, however, in which the presence of functioning traditional journalists will pick up from the citizens who had been reporting on the ground.