Egypt Blocks Internet, Deploys Special Forces

Communication tools shut down ahead of 'day of rage'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2011 10:30 PM CST
Egypt Blocks Internet, Deploys Special Forces
An anti-government protester sets off a flare during clashes with riot police at night in Suez, Egypt Thursday night.   (AP Photo)

As what is expected to be the biggest day of protests yet looms, Egyptian authorities have blocked Internet traffic and deployed an elite special operations counterterrorism force. Users are reporting major disruptions to Internet and text messaging services, and Cairo appears to be completely offline, the Huffington Post reports.

Facebook and Twitter have been key tools for organizing anti-government rallies and the Internet blockage is believed to be a government attempt to prevent protesters mobilizing for mass protests planned for after Friday prayers. "I suspect the internet cutoff is just a fraction of what the government has in store for Friday," a CNN reporter in Cairo says.
(Read more Egypt stories.)

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