Friday, January 28, 2011

Egypt Has Cut Off the Internet

The Egyptian government was pretty quick to cut off its nation's access to Facebook and Twitter after the demonstrations began. Now it seems they've managed, for the first time in history, to completely cut off access to the internet.

This should show you just how much governments hate and fear their people. They don't just want to cut off the flow of information. They want to hobble the ability of people to control any aspect of their lives with any autonomy.

A revolution in Egypt is just the largest example. You can see it here in the US on the internet every day, as Google caves in further and further to a corporate-controlled government that acts like some grandmother downloading a single song somewhere will cost them billions of dollars. It's bullshit, of course, but they can't afford to not make examples out of people. It's not about the money. It's about control. It's about the corporate government making sure you don't go around thinking you can just access something commercial without leasing it from them.

Joseph Lieberman, of course, is taking this opportunity to push once again for some kind of internet switch in America, so they can just shut us off if we get too mouthy or dissatisfied. And absent any kind of real leadership in the US--I'm sorry, but this week's State of the Union did nothing for but demonstrate just how out of touch and powerless President Obama really is--he'll probably end up getting it, as long as Comcast and News Corp. says it's okay.

What Mubarak's government is doing in Egypt is terrible. What our government is doing supporting him is despicable. And that support alone should show you what our government thinks of people--any people, anywhere in the world, including here--who don't just do what they're told.

All I know is, I have a friend who lives in a suburb of Cairo, and I really hope she's okay.


Roger Owen Green said...

the US govt will always be status quo re govts of our allies, even if they're repressive regimes. doesn't matter which prez it is. sad.

Anonymous said...

What... uh, what makes you think that legal or not, the US wouldn't cut access to the internet anyway?

Or any government, for that matter?

Paradox Al said...

I feel like I can relate to the egyptians. I live in Malaysia, where our government strictly prohibits us from rallying, or protesting, or speaking out in any way, on anything they deem "sensitive issues". This doesn't stop me from posting whatever I want on Facebook, like venting off steam on how terrible our government is.

Of course I do this at the risk that one day our government will start monitoring facebook, and that I might get arrested and thrown in jail. This isn't an exaggeration, they can very well do this if they ever feel like it. In recent years they have started arresting the more vocal bloggers on the net. But it is so worth it, you know? Average people like me, we can't change anything over here. Can't we at least complain about our lives? So..uh, I guess I can relate to the egyptian people and their struggle. I admire their bravery, I'm not sure I could do what they're doing.