Egypt: public command, control, and communications

The recent Tunisian episode may be going viral – at least that is the fear (or hope) of those who study such issues. Egypt is a point towards this and that Egyptian authorities were among those who tried to take precautions.

Over the past 48 hours, the Egyptian government escalated from censoring
websites, to blocking mobile service, and as of last night, took the
unprecedented step of seemingly disconnecting Egypt from the global
Internet. The events of today – Friday – are critical to the future of
the Egyptian regime and the will of the Egyptian people.

democracyworks asks What happens when eighty million Egyptians disappear? The story is about the CCC, command, control, and communications infrastructure of the civil protests. The authorities have attempted to disrupt these capabilities by shutting down mobile phone and I’net service in the country. That only means other techniques will be employed – such as Amateur Radio.

The cell phone has become ubiquitous in many areas that have never had telecommunications capabilities. I’net access soon follows. The technologies have been important in the war on terror but this appears to be the first time they have been fundamental to the CCC of nationwide social protest.

The shutdown is also interesting in light of the discussion about providing the U.S. President with an I’net ‘kill’ switch. The example illustrates both how the fear was misdirected and how the phenomena can be expressed in other ways.

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