Egypt Protests: Social networking sites blocked, journalist beaten, Anonymous threatens govt

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Egypt authorities have blocked many social networking sites – including Twitter, Facebook – in an effort to contain any news coming out of the country, as riots escalate. Meanwhile, the group Anonymous have threatened denial-of-service attacks on the Egyptian government over its censorship.

While Twitter has confirmed that its site has been blocked, other sites have been periodically blocked as Australia slept. The Next Web is claiming that YouTube, Facebook and Google are now accessible, but their connections slowed down – possibly in an effort to stop or slow-down protesters from uploading content to the West.

The Guardian is also reporting that mobile towers have been disabled and the telephone service cut, after protests were organised via text messages.

The pro-democracy movements in the Arab World have been using social media websites as a way to reach out during the protests – the most famous ones in Tunisia earlier in the year and in Iran over the disputed elections in 2009.

Anonymous, famous for their support of Wikileaks and also attacking the Australian Government over its proposed filter, has also threatened to send is currently sending denial-of-service attacks on websites on the Egyptian government over its censorship of the internet

“To the Egyptian Government: Anonymous challenges all those who are involved in censorship. Anonymous wants you to offer free access to uncensored media in your entire country. When you ignore this message, not only will we attack your government websites, Anonymous will make sure that the international media sees the horrid reality you impose on your people,” It wrote on a press release.

The web vigilante group has started “recruiting” people to conduct these attacks. Sites targeted, according to the International Business Times, include the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Communications and Technology. It appears that the sites mentioned have been taken down.

Also in the news, a Guardian journalist was arrested and beaten up. The full audio clip has been posted by The Guardian, and we do warn it contains some harsh language.

Image by: flyvancity/Flickr (CC)