Egyptian Internet cutoff 'unprecedented': Renesys

"Virtually all of Egypt's Internet addresses are now unreachable, worldwide," said James Cowie of Renesys, a New Hampshire-based firm which monitors Internet routing data in real-time.

"In an action unprecedented in Internet history, the Egyptian government appears to have ordered service providers to shut down all international connections to the Internet," Cowie said in a blog post.

"Critical European-Asian fibre-optic routes through Egypt appear to be unaffected for now," he said.

"But every Egyptian provider, every business, bank, Internet cafe, website, school, embassy, and government office that relied on the big four Egyptian ISPs for their Internet connectivity is now cut off from the rest of the world," Cowie said.

"Link Egypt, Vodafone/Raya, Telecom Egypt, Etisalat Misr, and all their customers and partners are, for the moment, off the air," he said.

Cowie said Renesys observed a "virtually simultaneous" withdrawal of all routes to Egyptian networks at 2234 GMT yesterday, "leaving no valid paths by which the rest of the world could continue to exchange Internet traffic with Egypt's service providers.
Cowie said one exception was the Noor Group, which still has 83 live routes to its Egyptian customers.

He said it was not clear why the Noor Group was apparently unaffected "but we observe that the Egyptian Stock Exchange (www.egyptse.com) is still alive at a Noor address."
Egypt has been rocked by days of protests against President Hosni Mubarak.
Mobile telephone networks were severely disrupted in the country today along with the Internet.

Mobile phones and the Internet have been used by activists to organise the most serious anti-government demonstrations in decades, amid warning by the Interior Ministry that it would take "decisive measures" against protesters.

The protests were inspired by the groundbreaking uprising in Tunisia which led to the ouster of veteran Zine El Abidine Ben Ali after 23 years in power.

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