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With word of Egypt’s protests spreading across the country, largely via Twitter, Facebook, and SMS, by Thursday night local time, all of those electronic channels were silent.
Twitter, Facebook, and SMS were interrupted intermittently since the mass protests began on Tuesday. Still, messages from ad hoc organizers calling for larger demonstrations were getting through, via Internet users with proxy servers that allowed them to circumvent the digital walls.
By the evening of Jan. 27, Facebook, and SMS were no longer accessible, and at roughly midnight, the entire Internet suddenly went silent, according to unconfirmed reports from some activists.
Mostly young Egyptians have been taking to the streets in an unprecedented display of anti-government sentiments. There is no unified voice, with some calling for reform and some calling for a new government.
The protesters are taking their inspiration from the successful Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia where mass protests successfully forced President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to flee the country on Jan. 14.
While the communications were up and running, word was being spread of a call for nationwide protests on Friday after midday prayers.
With reporting by Laila Hassan in Cairo.