Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Can't be e-gypped

While you may be familiar with the chart on the left, that details the volume of internet traffic through Egypt during the current political crisis there, what you may not be familiar with is the novel workarounds people are finding to spread the word.

There have been two distinct methods of overriding the internet block. One is to use old technology, and the other is to use really new technology.

Let's start with the old. According to the BBC, there has been a big resurgence in faxing, ham radio, and the old dial up modems that got the internet started. The real advantage of these, is that you don't need an Egyptian service provider to get access - so long as the number at the other end of the phone line can connect you to the internet, you're online!

The new-fangled approach is intriguing, too. Last week, Google bought SayNow - a service that allows you to post voice messages on Twitter. And now they're getting a great chance to demonstrate its efficacy. So many messages are pouring in with the #egypt hashtag, that you could spend your whole day listening to them and nothing else.

And if these two approaches cease to work, there are plenty more. You can limit the provision of technology, but you can't limit determination or ingenuity:

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