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Tens of Thousands Protest In Cairo, Twitter Blocked

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the lol-cats-won't-save-you dept.

Communications 167

Haffner writes "Protests in Cairo, Egypt have now reached the tens of thousands. Police have deployed water cannons and tear gas. I am writing this live from Cairo, where I witnessed a throng of 1000-3000 march towards Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo. I also witnessed 300-500 protesting on one of the bridges heading downtown. Most importantly, twitter has been blocked by many national carriers." Why Twitter? As reader pinkushun writes "Using Twitter and Facebook, the people instigated a series of fast-moving, rapidly shifting demos across half a dozen or more Egyptian cities. The police could not keep up – and predictably, resorted to violence. Sadly this has led to three known deaths thus far." Update: 01/26 02:05 GMT by T : Jake Appelbaum is tweeting up a storm about the state of the active filters.

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Protesting.. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35001018)

Man, I know some people didn't like the Matrix sequels, but this is RIDICULOUS.

Re:Protesting.. (5, Informative)

Magic5Ball (188725) | more than 3 years ago | (#35001330)

Some friends in Cairo would like to bypass some of the online censorship measures. I've quickly suggested some things (below) to consider overnight. What have I missed?

Anonymous connection:
No:
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/01/help-eff-research-web-browser-tracking [eff.org]

But:
https://www.eff.org/https-everywhere/ [eff.org]

Also:
http://www.hotspotshield.com/ [hotspotshield.com]

And services like:
http://filesharefreak.com/2008/10/18/total-anonymity-a-list-of-vpn-service-providers/ [filesharefreak.com]
but verify on the ground.

Only if they understand the tradeoffs:
http://www.privoxy.org/ [privoxy.org]
https://techstdout.boum.org/TorDns/ [boum.org]

Avoid random lists of anonymous proxies or DNS servers.

To secure the computer:
Use a popular boot disk that leaves nothing behind, e.g.:
http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop/get-ubuntu/download [ubuntu.com]

Remove metadata:
http://owl.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/ [queensu.ca]
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyId=144E54ED-D43E-42CA-BC7B-5446D34E5360&displaylang=en [microsoft.com]
and similar for other files they may deal with.

Delete/wipe files securely.

Many uses:
http://mailinator.com/ [mailinator.com]
http://www.hushmail.com/ [hushmail.com]

Consider:
http://www.disconnectere.com/ [disconnectere.com]
and its analogues

I use Tor, but people need to run more exit-nodes. (2)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#35001858)

Egypt is one of the countries that still routinely tortures people. So these people really need anonymity.
http://www.torproject.org/ [torproject.org] -- I use Tor most of the time. But it's terribly slow, there are few out-nodes.
The best I have thought of is a prepaid cellphone, or any phone not in your name. I think it would be correct to try to put it in the name of someone important to make sure someone else is not punished instead of you, and make sure not to use it with any of your personal data, like making and receiving calls to your friends and family with it, and logging into your personal accounts with it. You also will need to get a different phone from your own, as the operator records the phone's IMEI as well as the GSM chip number and phone number. Taking the battery out before you get near your home with the phone is a good idea too. If you think you have legal cover to be able to run Tor as an EXIT node, it would be helpful to people in Egypt today to have more exit nodes.

Anonymous Donations (1)

rubypossum (693765) | more than 3 years ago | (#35001930)

Don't forget Bitcoin [bitcoin.org] , it allows for anonymous untraceable donations which cannot be "frozen" under governmental pressure.

Re:Protesting.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35002240)

Try i2p + IRC:
http://www.i2p2.de/
Start the router, wait a bit, then join irc server: localhost/6668

Although AFAIK this only works on computers and not phones. Maybe SSH to a home computer running i2pRC?

Re:Protesting.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35003102)

I2P: http://www.i2p2.de/

Tilte Fail (0)

II Xion II (1420223) | more than 3 years ago | (#35001022)

As if a simple review of the title was so hard...

Re:Tilte Fail (0)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#35001104)

But, slashdot has tens one of editors! That should count for something?

I almost hate to ask... (2, Insightful)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 3 years ago | (#35001026)

but what are they protesting? I didn't see it in the first link.

Re:I almost hate to ask... (2)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 3 years ago | (#35001054)

This is essentially the same deal as Tunisia. Corrupt monarchy, rising food prices, etc.

Re:I almost hate to ask... (2)

muindaur (925372) | more than 3 years ago | (#35001070)

I guess it has made the people in the middle east much braver. Go them!

Re:I almost hate to ask... (4, Informative)

Zedrick (764028) | more than 3 years ago | (#35001142)

Egypt is not a monarchy, it's a normal 20th century dictatorship ruled by a president.

Re:I almost hate to ask... (2)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35001338)

Whose son Gamal is in line to succeed him.

Just like Syria and North Korea are not monarchies, nor was Iraq going to be one after Saddam died and Qusay took over for him.

Re:I almost hate to ask... (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#35001816)

Egypt is not a monarchy, it's a normal 20th century dictatorship ruled by a president.

Whose son Gamal is in line to succeed him. Just like Syria and North Korea are not monarchies, nor was Iraq going to be one after Saddam died and Qusay took over for him.

So then yes, a typical dictatorship as GP said.

Re:I almost hate to ask... (1)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 3 years ago | (#35001584)

Egypt is not a monarchy, it's a normal 20th century dictatorship ruled by a president.

For 30 years running!

You shall now be flogged mercilessly by the low UID brigade for your ambiguously factually correct post >:-D

Re:I almost hate to ask... (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 3 years ago | (#35001650)

Too bad it doesn't fit the absolute technical definition, despite being largely indistinguishable from a monarchy in reality.

Re:I almost hate to ask... (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#35001094)

Probably inspired by the uprising in Tunisia, they're calling for leader of their country (Hosni Mubarak) to resign, probably due to his perceived corruption, nepotism, and so forth.

Re:I almost hate to ask... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#35002876)

Bet the French government is already shaking in its boots.

Mubarak leaving soon (5, Informative)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35001134)

Probably the fact that Mubarak has been effectively a dictator for the past few decades, with elections rigged to where he is the only true candidate and voting is monitored by thugs. The main opposition force in Egypt during Mubarak's reign, the Muslim Brotherhood, has had many of its leaders and some supporters arrested, killed, or run out of the country. On top of this, Mubarak is getting pretty old, and it is expected that he will not run in many more elections. So, essentially, the government is in a weakened and uncertain state, and many Egyptians see the chance for a real chance of democracy, instead of Mubarak simply naming his successor who would then run the country for another couple decades.

Re:Mubarak leaving soon (3, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#35001168)

Similar to the problem to Malaysia then. Same party in power for decades but the main opposition are islamists and potentially a worse cure than the problem.

Re:Mubarak leaving soon (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 3 years ago | (#35001212)

I'm pretty sure you mean Tunisia.

Re:Mubarak leaving soon (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35001376)

No, he probably means Malaysia. The islamists aren't a significant issue in Tunisia, although the former dictator of the country certainly did his best to make it seem like they could be whenever discussing the matter with western backers. "Yes, I'm a terrible person, but you wouldn't want the radical islamists to get power, would you?" It's a trick worth free billions and plenty of weapons to oppress the opposition^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hterrorists. It's an arrangement of convenience that, in the long run, is a bad deal.

Good riddance. They're an oppressor and I have ZERO sympathy for them. When the west backs them it gives us a bad name. If it leads to more radical islamist regimes because that's what the people really want in their country, then too fricking bad. It's democracy: deal with it. But in reality it's not usually what the people want. The danger is that the extreme radicals manage to hijack the democratic process and become the new oppressors by grabbing complete power. While a genuine risk, the way forward is to encourage real democracy -- not overtly, or in a meddling sort of way, because that could be mistaken for interference and play into the hands of ultra-nationalists -- but simply by saying "Yeah, if you do set up a real, pluralistic democracy, of course we'll work with you just like any other democratic country. Go the path of a new authoritarian regime, and we won't."

Re:Mubarak leaving soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35001636)

> It's democracy: deal with it.

Democracy is democracy, the law is the law, etc. Minorities have no protection, deal with it.

Re:Mubarak leaving soon (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#35001696)

No, he probably means Malaysia

Depends on whether or not he went to high school in the US. My geography teacher was the tougher one in my high school. She had us color in preprinted maps of the world. The easier geography teacher's final was pretty much just "Label the continents on this map of the world."

Re:Mubarak leaving soon (1)

flosofl (626809) | more than 3 years ago | (#35001378)

Nope. Pretty sure he meant what he wrote. Malaysia is a mess as well.

(I wish I could include a couple of links for you, but for some reason the stupid edit box on this site will not let me paste anything. Other tabs I have open (to test) on other sites let me paste the info willy-nilly, just not here)

Re:Mubarak leaving soon (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35001862)

Lets face facts here, even if we discount the 24hr rolling news, much of the world is in a mess right now, and many of the problems have been caused directly and indirectly by America.

In the case of Egypt, have a look at the support that the US has given to the foul and hated regime headed by Mubarak; the billions of dollars in aid (2nd largest recipient after Israel.)

It's great to support democracy when it goes your way, but the test comes when the results are not what you wanted. America and the West fail this test again and again.

This kind of hypocrisy is not only sickening but there are terrible consequences as well. the resentment fuels hatred toward us - just one example might be that the leader of the 9-11 terrorists was Egyptian.

We need to realize that things cannot stay as they are, and unless something is done to remove the morally bankrupt criminals that rule over the countries of the west, and allow their puppets around the world to fall away, then things will go from bad to worse.

Re:Mubarak leaving soon (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35002024)

Similar to the problem to Malaysia then. Same party in power for decades but the main opposition are islamists and potentially a worse cure than the problem.

What if the "islamists" are the ones that people actually want? That in a fair and open election, they would be the people's first choice?

Would that still be "curse"?

Re:Mubarak leaving soon (2)

lennier (44736) | more than 3 years ago | (#35002126)

What if the "islamists" are the ones that people actually want? That in a fair and open election, they would be the people's first choice?

Would that still be "curse"?

Simple: Send In The Marines [youtube.com] .

Re:Mubarak leaving soon (2)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#35002898)

Well, DO they really want?

Let's rewind history a little to the late 1970s, Iran. Ruled by Shah Reza Pahlavi, dictator by grace of the US and not reeeeeeally well liked by his people. Those who didn't sleep through their history class (well, if it was mentioned, it wasn't really something to brag about) know how it ended, well, take a look at the Iran and you'll know.

Do you REALLY think that's what most people who stood up against the Shah wanted?

The problem here is that the choice is not even douche or turd sammich. It's hanging or shooting.

Re:Mubarak leaving soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35002588)

Bullshit why do people like you try to force murdering raping dictators on the brown people of the world because it is best for your perverted senses? These people are fighting for their life,justice,freedom. If you can get off the neo con/liberal/likudnik foreign policy dumb ass bus you could see that. Have some fucking empathy.

Re:Mubarak leaving soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35002618)

Similar to the problem to Malaysia then. Same party in power for decades but the main opposition are islamists and potentially a worse cure than the problem.

PAS [wikipedia.org] only form a part of the opposition coalition, there is no chance of them forming a government on their own, and their coalition partners would certainly not support turning Malaysia into an Islamist state.

Re:Mubarak leaving soon (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35002882)

I wonder form where do americans get their facts. The majority want a secular state and democracy. In addition to that, there's no significant islamist presence in the nation.

Source: Me, I'm Tunisian.

Re:Mubarak leaving soon (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35001180)

The main opposition force in Egypt during Mubarak's reign, the Muslim Brotherhood [...] and many Egyptians see the chance for a real chance of democracy

Yeah that worked out so well for Iran...

Re:Mubarak leaving soon (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#35001710)

Sometimes the devil you don't know is slightly more attractive than the one you do. Plus there's probably some national pride mixed up in there telling them that "where those other guys messed up, WE will surely succeed, because (insert country here) IS NUMBER ONE!!!"

Re:Mubarak leaving soon (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 3 years ago | (#35002646)

Sometimes the devil you don't know is slightly more attractive than the one you do.

This. If you have a "president" who's kept the country under martial law for decades and generally hasn't done a very good job of caring for his citizens you're quite motivated to elect anyone who isn't him.

Remember how Barack Obama was everbody's darling for a while not because of anything he said or did but mainly because he wasn't George W. Bush. And now imagine that Bush had been in office since 1981. Suddenly the devil you don't know is not just attractive but a sex symbol.

Re:Mubarak leaving soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35001978)

Probably the fact that Mubarak has been effectively a dictator for the past few decades, with elections rigged to where he is the only true candidate and voting is monitored by thugs. The main opposition force in Egypt during Mubarak's reign, the Muslim Brotherhood, has had many of its leaders and some supporters arrested, killed, or run out of the country. On top of this, Mubarak is getting pretty old, and it is expected that he will not run in many more elections. So, essentially, the government is in a weakened and uncertain state, and many Egyptians see the chance for a real chance of democracy, instead of Mubarak simply naming his successor who would then run the country for another couple decades.

Hmmm...Kinda like Venezuela hu?

Re:Mubarak leaving soon, Demoracy in Eygpy :) (2)

Ghiora (1004216) | more than 3 years ago | (#35002172)

Sure Egypt will have a real democracy in a day or two. Like the Hamas in Gaza. I am no supporter of the Arab regimes but it is much more likely that we will end up with some kind of Muslim dictatorship.

Re:I almost hate to ask... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35001154)

Basically this is the egyptian equivalent of our recent election where we threw out the corrupt democrats in favor of some common sence tea party candidates who rightly see the goverment as the problem, not the solution.

Re:I almost hate to ask... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35002308)

Yeah, tea farters view the internet as a tool of the devil because govt created it!

Re:I almost hate to ask... (2)

blue trane (110704) | more than 3 years ago | (#35002504)

Some research indicates the contrary is true, Egyptians seem to blame their govt for NOT providing a solution:

From http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=53606 [ipsnews.net] :

"A virus destroyed most of my summer harvest, which fell this year from the usual 50 tons per acre to only 10 tons," Mohamed Khairy, a tomato farmer in the Nile Delta province of Beheira, some 200 km north of Cairo, told IPS. "I tried to get assistance from the agriculture ministry, but my pleas fell on deaf ears."

Critics further point out that shortages were exacerbated by exploitive merchants - and the government's seeming reluctance to regulate their activities.

"Unscrupulous traders took advantage of the shortage to raise retail prices through the roof, allowing them to realise enormous profits," said Sami. "And the government has continued to allow them to get away with it."

Abdelazim concurred, noting that Egypt's ruling regime was largely composed of businessmen and "monopolistic traders".

"The regime, which is characterised by economic corruption and chaos, doesn't regulate the local market or move to break up monopolies - it merely looks on as consumers are exploited," he said. "Meanwhile, Egypt's limited civil society plays a negligible role in protecting the consumer."

From http://www.almasryalyoum.com/en/news/egypts-recurring-food-price-crisis [almasryalyoum.com] :

The Egyptian government, in close collaboration with USAID officials, began introducing a broad program of agricultural liberalization in the 1980s that aimed to limit state intervention--in the form of subsidies and controls on cropping patterns--and encourage a competitive market system based on private enterprise and export-led growth. These policies continued into the 1990s after Egypt concluded a structural adjustment agreement with the International Monetary Fund. A key component of these agrarian reforms was a new land law, known as Law 96, that revoked tenure rights for small peasants which had been in place for 40 years and allowed large landowners to charge market-based rents.

For government critics, Egypt's food inflation must be seen against the backdrop of these broader economic policies.

[...]

Ayeb explains that in the 1950s and 1960s Egyptian agricultural policies sought to protect small farmers and provide them with a respectable income. “In the pseudo-socialist period there was the idea of living on the land and surviving from it there was a guarantee of national agricultural security.”

Thus, as fertilizers and herbicides flooded the Egyptian market, the government provided subsidies to support small farmers and make food available locally.

Since the late 1970s, government subsidies have gradually receded and chemical fertilizers have instead been sold on the open market. Moreover, today Egypt is one of the biggest importers of fertilizers in the world and this dependency has in turn affected local prices.

“The state used to provide everything, from fertilizers to herbicides. Today, things have changed 180 degrees,” Haj Desouki reflects.

Another failure of free markets. Food is too important to be left to the free market!

Re:I almost hate to ask... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35001166)

What else? The screwed-up, authoritarian, faux-democratic, foolishly-western-backed, "effectively president-for-life", corrupt regime that is currently in power there and that is greatly, albeit not exclusively, responsible for the poor economic conditions in the country. See: Tunisia. Every country is a little different, but the problems listed above are not a unique problem in the region, and it's good that people are standing up for change and demanding real democratic change.

However well-motivated the change is, it's dangerous to topple a government, and I hope they work through it okay. Here's hoping that if there is a genuine democratic revolution it isn't taken over by a different flavor of authoritarian regime at the first opportunity, as unfortunately happened with the theocratic takeover in Iran. And hopefully western countries will be properly supportive if change happens and a real democracy does emerge.

Corrupt taxi drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35001320)

They are everywhere

The usual (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35001704)

They want food, water, freedom, justice, no corruptions, a set of rights that gov. can not take away, an education, freedom from Mubarak's prison, etc.

Basically, the usual.

Windbourne (moderating).

Re:I almost hate to ask... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35002710)

you're missing the point, this isn't about protests, it's about twitter being blocked. The summary is very clear on that point: "Most importantly, twitter has been blocked by many national carriers." (emphasis mine)

Revolution is good (2)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#35001044)

The blood of patriots and tyrants waters the Tree of Liberty. It is its natural fertilizer.

- Jefferson

Re:Revolution is good (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35001124)

I think that you are the victim of a vendetta
This is in no way a trollish post....

Re:Revolution is good (4, Informative)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 3 years ago | (#35001146)

The blood of patriots and tyrants waters the Tree of Liberty. It is its natural fertilizer.

- Jefferson

Jefferson later retracted his statement when he saw the 1786 French Terror. Revolution is good if it's moderated but too often it falls into a new tyranny worse than the original (fall of Rome to Dictatorship, fall of Russia to communism, fall of China to fascism, and so on).

Re:Revolution is good (1)

Maltheus (248271) | more than 3 years ago | (#35001264)

Do you have a source for Jefferson's retraction? I'm having trouble finding it through google. Thanks!

Re:Revolution is good (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#35001270)

Smashing the status quo is a big roll of the dice, maybe for the better, maybe not. An interesting thing about this unrest, based on the BBC coverage [bbc.co.uk] , is that is no organized opposition movement:

There are deep frustrations in Egyptian society, our Cairo correspondent says, yet Egyptians are almost as disillusioned with the opposition as they are with the government; even the Muslim Brotherhood, the banned Islamist movement, seems rudderless. While one opposition leader, Mohamed ElBaradei, called on Egyptians to take part in these protests, the Muslim Brotherhood has been more ambivalent. Our correspondent adds that Egypt is widely seen to have lost power, status and prestige in the three decades of President Mubarak's rule.

So this revolt, if successful, would create a leaderless state. That seems very risky.

Re:Revolution is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35002686)

1786 french terror

Revolution is good if it's moderated

Would it be fair to say that history isn't your strong point...?

Perhaps sophisticated thought of any kind is a little beyond you - best stick to circuit boards and logic gates eh!

Revolution is bad (2)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#35001962)

Don't put your trust in revolutions. They always come round again. That's why they're called revolutions.

- Pratchett

In all seriousness, the only reason the American Revolution worked out so well was because we had the enormous good fortune of A) having no nearby powers to take advantage and B) having technology at just the right point where we could win the war without having to deal with endless terrorist attacks afterward.

It is no longer possible for an armed rebellion to end well. Technology has seen to it that armed rebellions don't end at all.

Re:Revolution is bad (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35002006)

The american revolution also had the good luck that the USA was not around yet to fund the counter-revolution.

Re:Revolution is bad (3, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#35002560)

Having founders who embraced the principles of the Enlightenment didn't hurt either.

Re:Revolution is bad (2)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 3 years ago | (#35002682)

In all seriousness, the only reason the American Revolution worked out so well was because we had the enormous good fortune of A) having no nearby powers to take advantage and B) having technology at just the right point where we could win the war without having to deal with endless terrorist attacks afterward.

No, the reason our revolution worked was that we had George Washington, who told his officers not to stage a military coup (and convinced them to do as he said), and then, when he was elected President, chose to run for re-election only once, then retire quietly.

Unlike the assorted Presidents-for-Life that we saw from so many other revolutions....

Re:Revolution is bad (1)

dryeo (100693) | more than 3 years ago | (#35002782)

As a revolution the American Revolution was a failure. You guys didn't even get closer then 2500 miles to the capital, little well overthrow the government.
What it was, was a successful war of separation.

I think if Twitter was blocked in the USA (1)

rshxd (1875730) | more than 3 years ago | (#35001076)

Nobody would care because it seems like the Twitter demographics are basically everyone who is still on Myspace but not on Facebook

So much focus on the protest, none on the topic (5, Informative)

Josh Triplett (874994) | more than 3 years ago | (#35001102)

The linked story talks about the reasons for the protest in Cairo (namely, wanting the current president of 29 years out, and wanting the 29-year "state of emergency" and corresponding suspension of rights to stop). The summary here just talks about the actions taken against the protesters, and the blocking of Twitter.

Re:So much focus on the protest, none on the topic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35001260)

> (namely, wanting the current president of 29 years out, and wanting the 29-year "state of emergency" and corresponding suspension of rights to stop).

So that's where they got the idea from....

Re:So much focus on the protest, none on the topic (2)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 3 years ago | (#35001284)

Don't think of it as a state of emergency, think of it as a Patriot Act.

Re:So much focus on the protest, none on the topic (1)

leromarinvit (1462031) | more than 3 years ago | (#35001346)

The linked story talks about the reasons for the protest in Cairo (namely, wanting the current president of 29 years out, and wanting the 29-year "state of emergency" and corresponding suspension of rights to stop). The summary here just talks about the actions taken against the protesters, and the blocking of Twitter.

Have you been asleep?

A revolution is happening in Tunisia. Protests similar to the beginnings there have been reported from Algeria. People are setting themselves on fire to make a statement. The Egyptian regime has been trying to control unrest by capping food and oil prices for the last few weeks.

Is it really necessary to point out what the Egyptians are unhappy about? Isn't it obvious?

Hint: poverty, exploitation, dictatorship, greed, corruption, astronomical food prices, general lack of freedom... enough reasons already?

There's never a single reason for protests of this scale. A single-issue campaign probably also won't get the president's son and "heir to the throne" to flee the country [adnkronos.com] .

Re:So much focus on the protest, none on the topic (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35001788)

Or the Mugamma. I read a story about 6-8 years ago about the trials and tribulations of getting anything done in Cairo and it was about going here.

http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/mugamma.htm [touregypt.net]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mogamma [wikipedia.org]

Re:So much focus on the protest, none on the topic (3, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#35002900)

The linked story talks about the reasons for the protest in Cairo (namely, wanting the current president of 29 years out, and wanting the 29-year "state of emergency" and corresponding suspension of rights to stop). The summary here just talks about the actions taken against the protesters, and the blocking of Twitter.

Have you been asleep?

A revolution is happening in Tunisia. Protests similar to the beginnings there have been reported from Algeria. People are setting themselves on fire to make a statement. The Egyptian regime has been trying to control unrest by capping food and oil prices for the last few weeks.

Is it really necessary to point out what the Egyptians are unhappy about?

Yes. Not all of us live in Egypt.

Isn't it obvious?

No. Not all of us live in Egypt.

Re:So much focus on the protest, none on the topic (1)

leromarinvit (1462031) | more than 3 years ago | (#35003012)

No. Not all of us live in Egypt.

I don't live in Egypt either. But these recent events were very prominently featured in the media here, almost impossible to miss.

Maybe it wasn't so much of a hot topic in the US? Europe is quite a bit nearer, after all.

Re:So much focus on the protest, none on the topic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35002170)

Didn't IBM create some huge security system to support the regime in Egypt, a few years ago using US tax-money?

Obligatory Tweet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35001118)

OK riot police are coming out.

Video (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35001140)

Egypt today, see 01:20 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWr6MypZ-JU [youtube.com]

wikileaks? (3, Interesting)

vasanth (908280) | more than 3 years ago | (#35001200)

wonder if wikileaks was the proverbial flap of a butterfly's wing??

Re:wikileaks? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35001326)

No, it's the corrupt bankster dictatorship, and the people are hungry and sick of the shit You'll get your taste of it in the USA soon enough. But your welcome to tow that wikileaks crap printed in English which these angry citizen protesters can't even read, on corporate media, you'll fit right in ya dickhead.

Re:wikileaks? (1)

leromarinvit (1462031) | more than 3 years ago | (#35001492)

wonder if wikileaks was the proverbial flap of a butterfly's wing??

Actually no. Somebody made a slight typo when trying C-x M-c M-butterfly [xkcd.com] . It went unnoticed at first...

A billion butterflies (1)

Troll-Under-D'Bridge (1782952) | more than 3 years ago | (#35002444)

Only if it's part of a horde of a billion butterflies.

Those who blame Wikileaks for being irresponsible, even criminal, for their release of supposedly confidential information should look at the way social networks and other sites and Internet services facilitate activities that could lead to people getting injured or even killed. If Wikileaks deserved to be banned, then so should Facebook and Twitter, for these sites would, arguably, be doing harm by making it easier for the stain of information to spread.

Re:wikileaks? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35002570)

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2011/01/wikileaks-reveal-what-made-tunisians-revolt.html

And several similar articles. Basically the leaked US Diplomatic cables weighted heavily in the recent democratic Tunisian uprising, which appears to now be spreading to neighboring countries.

Technology knows no right from wrong (4, Insightful)

ugen (93902) | more than 3 years ago | (#35001244)

That's the thing about technology - it serves all masters.

The two forces at play in Egypt are Mubarak's official regime on one side and Muslim Brotherhood on another side. FWIW it's a choice between a rock and a hard place. Muslim brotherhood is your garden variety Islamic hard-liners who will no doubt build an oppressive society if ever in charge. Mubarak's regime is already oppressive. So, while the sides scuffle - there is little to expect externally except, perhaps, a more extremist regime should Mubarak fail.

Re:Technology knows no right from wrong (3, Informative)

Smiths (460216) | more than 3 years ago | (#35002122)

The Muslim Brotherhood has nothing to do with these protests. These are secular Egyptians from all around the country who for years have resented their leader whom is often a puppet to the US.

All due respect but before spouting off about something as if youre an expert RTFA or research it on your own.

http://mondoweiss.net/ [mondoweiss.net]

Re:Technology knows no right from wrong (1)

Cheviot (248921) | more than 3 years ago | (#35002542)

It appears that the rumors that the Muslim Brotherhood are the main instigators in these protests is coming from the Egyptian government. Don't believe it. This is a populist uprising.

Re:Technology knows no right from wrong (1)

grcumb (781340) | more than 3 years ago | (#35003092)

It appears that the rumors that the Muslim Brotherhood are the main instigators in these protests is coming from the Egyptian government. Don't believe it. This is a populist uprising.

Indeed. I think it might well succeed[*], too, because the uprising is strikingly parallel to the French Revolution: It's the petit bourgoisie, the shopkeepers and tradespeople, who are rising, and all they're asking for is a chance to work for a living wage. This could gain a lot of steam in very little time.

---------
[*] By 'succeed', I mean to say that they might well end up deposing President Mubarak and ensuring that Gamal, his son, doesn't succeed him. Whether they descend into chaos and terror as the French did, or whether the military steps in (quite likely with US assistance[**]), or whether an actual democracy blossoms... well, that remains to be seen. I'm inclined to think that a military junta is the most likely outcome, at least in the short term.

[**] Egypt is a key US asset in the Middle East. America might be able to countenance an Egyptian government without a Mubarak at the head of it, but I'm nearly certain that they would sooner see the military in charge rather than even the chance of Islamist party rule.

Foreign policy history (4, Informative)

br00tus (528477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35001252)

For decades, the US (and Israel, and western Europe) saw Egypt as the biggest threat to their "national interests" in the Middle East. Which is why England and France attacked Egypt in 1956. Why is why Israel attacked Egypt and occupied the Sinai in 1967. Nasser was THE leading voice of pan-Arab nationalism - after all, many of the Arab states had their maps drawn by white westerners. Nasser even convinced other Arab leaders to have military alliances under joint command in battles against Israel.

Then there was a significant peace proposal from Egypt in the early 1970s to Israel and diplomatic reach to the US. This was ignored, probably to everyone's eventual detriment. Egypt began arming, while Israel was full of some hubris due to its 1967 military victory. In 1973 Egypt sent its forces to regain the Sinai and Israel did very badly, the US had to bail out Israel to a large extent. This started the OPEC oil embargo, if anyone is old enough to remember the long gas lines in the 1970s in the US.

At Camp David, Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty. Egypt turned from the USSR to the USA, and has been getting about $2 billion a year from the US up until a few years ago. Usually $700 million or more of that was economic aid up until a few years ago. In 2009, economic aid went down to $200 million or so. On top of those cuts, Egypt has been hit by the world economic slowdown as well. It is also under a ruthless dictatorship that the annual $1.3 billion in US military economic aid helps prop up. How many of the 9/11 hijackers were Egyptian? A number of them - and the cleric who was behind the first WTC bombing was Egyptian as well. Many Egyptians have been unhappy with the US meddling in the country for years - and recently, that $700 million in economic aid has been cut to almost nothing just as their economy began feeling the global economic slowdown.

Re:Foreign policy history (4, Interesting)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 3 years ago | (#35001670)

I thought 15 of the 19 were from Saudi Arabia. So, how many of the remaining 4 were from Egypt? (Sincere question.) And, answered fairly quickly: exactly one [wikipedia.org] of the hijackers was from Egypt (Mohammed Atta). (And yes, your statement is pedantically true; "one" is "a number".)

Re:Foreign policy history (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35001854)

albeit the loneliest one

Re:Foreign policy history (1)

electron sponge (1758814) | more than 3 years ago | (#35001832)

Which is why England and France attacked Egypt in 1956.

I don't disagree with anything you've laid out in your very informative post. I think it must be noted, however, that the Suez Crisis (which also included Israel allied with Britain and France) was ended in no small part due to the diplomatic intervention of the US, especially at the United Nations.

Re:Foreign policy history (3, Informative)

sabt-pestnu (967671) | more than 3 years ago | (#35002118)

> Which is why England and France attacked Egypt in 1956.
... which would be about the time Egypt nationalized the Suez canal [wikimedia.org] , right?
    The Six-day war [wikimedia.org] in 1967 where Israel saw troops massing on all sides.
    The Yom Kippur War [wikimedia.org] in 1973 seeking to correct the 1967 'boundary changes' (and whatever else they could gain).
The Camp David Accords [wikimedia.org] in 1978, returning the Suez Canal to Egypt, and Egypt officially recognizing Israel as a state. Just so we're clear which national interests we're speaking of, instead of some nebulous "we want".

> many of the Arab states had their maps drawn by white westerners.

Many of the Arab states that had their maps drawn by white westerners weren't states (as we use the term) until those maps were drawn.

It is a testament to the durability of bureaucracies that even though those "nations" have been self-governing for some time, they haven't altered their borders to reflect the social boundaries that exist. Sudan is only recently coming to the point where it can consider changing its borders, and that only through armed violence.

Even Iraq didn't try a three-state solution (Sunni, Shia, Kurd), though I can't say how much of that was the negotiators meddling, and how much was the fear of Turkey, Iran, and the Saudis snatching up the pieces if they did so.

Re:Foreign policy history (1)

Smiths (460216) | more than 3 years ago | (#35002272)

so many mistakes in your post.

Egypt was attacked in 1956 because it nationalized the Suez canal. That is they kicked out the forgein powers England and France. These two countries than colluded with Israel to stage an attack and take the Siani. The US and the USSR sided with Egypt and made Israel give it back. Ike went on TV and spoke to the American people because even than the Israel lobby was powerful and some US congressman didnt back him..in what in retrospect was a black and white case of aggression for colonial powers.

Also look up the Lavon Affair. A series of bombings that Israel did in Egypt to try cause unrest...looking at the history its no wonder Egyptian and Israeli relations are what they are. Anyway so than Israel attacks again in 1967 takes more land...Egypt tries to make a peace accord, with Golda Mier...she refuses and then in 1973 Egypt attacks the one and only time a country has attacked Israel first...with the help of Nixon and the US...Egypt loses and then thanks to Carter they get a peace treaty with Israel in 78 or so. There it stays pretty much ever since. Egypt a pawn of the US, always supporting Israel/US despite all the mucky muck they are doing to the region.

Today without the USSR to play the bad guy, the world is reorganizing and the US/Israel are being reconized as the bad guys in the region...should mubarack fall...34 years of bribes will go out the window..you'll have turkey. iran. egypt cozying up to russia. china and the eu....and the world will be more complex for the US. Good I say

Re:Foreign policy history (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 3 years ago | (#35002638)

In 1973 Egypt sent its forces to regain the Sinai and Israel did very badly, the US had to bail out Israel to a large extent

Umm, no.

While the USA sent munitions and such to Israel during the Yom Kippur War, they didn't send enough to matter. The war was too short for us to ship much there because, when all is said and done, you can't ship meaningful amounts of munitions by air, and the war was pretty much over before any could be shipped by sea.

The aid we provided Israel in '73 was far more a matter of a morale-boost than anything else....

Blockable Means of Communication ... (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 3 years ago | (#35001310)

... are worth a shit (and render instant mobs (whatever else you call it) inunstantiable).

BTW, this reminds me of a Sci-Fi which focused on the idea of instant teleportation to places of interest ((think reality-TV) & (the 'problems' around)). Hints welcome.

CC.

Re:Blockable Means of Communication ... (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 3 years ago | (#35001434)

inunstantiable

uninstantiable ... ooops

CC.

Re:Blockable Means of Communication ... (1)

gknoy (899301) | more than 3 years ago | (#35001472)

You mean, problems other than telefragging? :)

Re:Blockable Means of Communication ... (1)

ekgringo (693136) | more than 3 years ago | (#35001770)

I'm not sure, but I think you might be referring to The Light of Other Days [wikipedia.org] , by Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter. In the story, they develop a wormhole technology that allows an observer to view anyone, anywhere, and at any time - past or present. The technology was made universally available and so privacy is essentially lost since anyone could be watching anyone else at any time or place and there was little that could be done about it.

Re:Blockable Means of Communication ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35002016)

No, he means Jaunte-ing.

Re:Blockable Means of Communication ... (1)

MaxiCat_42 (711203) | more than 3 years ago | (#35002878)

The Sci-Fi you're thinking of is probably Flash Crowd by Larry Niven. When a news event came up on the TV, people would teleport in to see it live. With it would come thieves and pickpockets who would prey on the crowd. The story focused on the method of dealing with the thieves - route all the outgoing booths through a Police clearing centre.

Phil.

Lets hope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35001356)

Let us hope they don't hand their freshly toppled governments over to the muftis and imams.

Tunisia effect? (4, Interesting)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 3 years ago | (#35001360)

FWIW, some of the pundits were wondering aloud whether the Tunisian 'revolt' was going to spread throughout the region.

Most importantly? (3, Interesting)

dangitman (862676) | more than 3 years ago | (#35001412)

Most importantly, twitter has been blocked by many national carriers."

Those are some pretty odd priorities. I would have thought "tens of thousands protesting" is a little more important than some online service being blocked.

News just in: Asteroid about to impact Earth, extinction event imminent, but more disturbingly, I can't log in to Slashdot!"

Re:Most importantly? (3, Interesting)

jackbird (721605) | more than 3 years ago | (#35002724)

I think they mean "importantly," as in "the powers that be are recognizing the power of this tool for organizing protest, and are taking steps to counteract it rather than simply ignoring it." This is also why it's "news for nerds" rather than "geopolitics for wonks" (or "shit you really, really need to know for Egyptians," lest we gloss over the actual human element of the story).

Re:Most importantly? (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 3 years ago | (#35002770)

I think they mean "importantly," as in "the powers that be are recognizing the power of this tool for organizing protest, and are taking steps to counteract it rather than simply ignoring it."

If that was the intended meaning, it still strikes me as fairly narcissistic. "Hey, my favorite social networking service has been validated by government recognition!"

This is also why it's "news for nerds" rather than "geopolitics for wonks" (or "shit you really, really need to know for Egyptians," lest we gloss over the actual human element of the story).

I think the "stuff that matters" part of the slogan leaves plenty of room for reporting on issues without having to work in some lame "tech" angle. After all, aren't political wonks just as much nerds as the gadget/internet enthusiasts? Nerds come in many stripes.

Re:Most importantly? (1)

jackbird (721605) | more than 3 years ago | (#35002884)

How about "Hey, my favorite social networking service also appears to represent a sea change in the balance of power between poulations and oppressive governments! Maybe those techno-utopian fantasies from 1994 actually had some meat to them!"

Not saying I agree with that viewpoint, just that I think that's why the submitter thought it was important.

Long live the fighters! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35001416)

I wish all Egyptians high spirits and success in the struggle for a free country!

Linking to Al-Ahram (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35001684)

Why link to the coverage from a state sponsored newspaper? Al-Ahram is the same one that photoshopped Hosmi Mubarak's picture at the peace talks - can't seem to paste a link, google "al ahram photoshop".

Information wants to be free... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35002338)

And then, so do the people!

Federation is good - check out Identi.ca (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35002376)

Federation is good - check out Identi.ca
The thinking-man's tweeker, if anyone who actually thinks uses any of those services.

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