Egypt offline as government cuts comms over protest promise

The Egyptian government has seemingly taken the internet offline in the country, with all international connections going through Egyptian ISPs shut down. According to Renesys, connectivity was suspended at 00:34am local time, with "the virtually simultaneous withdrawal of all routes to Egyptian networks in the Internet's global routing table." Meanwhile, Vodafone has confirmed that all mobile operators in Egypt have been told to "suspend services in selected areas."

"All mobile operators in Egypt have been instructed to suspend services in selected areas. Under Egyptian legislation the authorities have the right to issue such an order and we are obliged to comply with it. The Egyptian authorities will be clarifying the situation in due course" Vodafone statement

The huge endeavour is an attempt by the Egyptian government to manage potential protests expected to take place today. Blogs and social networks including Facebook and Twitter had been used to encourage and organize anti-government protests for those unhappy with Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak; the interior ministry had threatened to take "decisive measures" to handle the threat.

Renesys has spotted that Noor Group still maintains full connectivity despite the block, and speculates that the Egyptian Stock Exchange – which uses a Noor address – might have been prioritized despite the overall takedown.