Internet 'partially restored' in Cairo

2nd February 2011, Comments 0 comments

Internet services were at least partially restored in Cairo Wednesday after a five-day cut amid raging protests against President Hosni Mubarak's regime, AFP journalists and internet users said.

After days without internet RNW correspondent Mohammed Adulrahman, currently in Cairo, was able to get online via Egyptian provider TE Data. "Apparently the authorities are confident that they can keep the situation under control," he said.

There is, however, no guarantee that the web is safe to use. In Tunisia the now ousted regime installed a huge amounts of monitoring software to keeping track of what Tunisians were publishing via Facebook, for instance.

Egypt's four main internet service providers cut off international access to their customers in a near simultaneous move at 2234 UTC on Thursday, two days after the current anti-Mubarak protests began, many coordinated via internet.

Sites such as Twitter and Facebook have become increasingly important for protest organisers. Around 23 million Egyptians have either regular or occasional access to the internet, according to official figures. That's more than a quarter of the population.

The internet shutdown in Egypt has been the most comprehensive official electronic blackout of its kind, experts say.

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