Egyptians report poor communication services on Day of Anger

Egyptian Internet users and mobile phone subscribers complained about poor service on the “Day of Anger” in which thousands of Egyptians protested the deterioration of economic conditions.

The website for Al-Dostour, a liberal opposition news website, and Al-Badeel, a leftist news website, had expressed support for today's protest and urged extensive political reform in Egypt. Neither were accessible within Egypt on 25 January.

A website official for al-Dostour said the website was blocked and its web server temporarily changed.

Internet users also had difficulty accessing their accounts on Twitter, a social networking website widely used by Egyptian activists and opposition members in spreading the word about protests.

Several websites for the Muslim Brotherhood reported similar problems during their coverage of the recently concluded parliamentary elections, when the group said it would use its website to expose election fraud.

Mobile phone subscribers also complained about poor network coverage and some accused Egyptian authorities of deliberately disrupting communications.

Mobile phone coverage is cut off from Tahrir Square where around 15,000 protesters are demonstrating.

Iran adopted similar measures to clamp down on mass communication during popular protests that followed the announcement of the results of presidential elections in 2009. The Tunisian government also took similar steps before the recent protests which led to the overthrow of the Tunisian president.

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