As the last of Egypt’s Internet access has been shut down, Google is faced with the prospect that — despite their best attempts by enabling Twitter-through-phone — this revolution may not be Twitter-ized.
Now the government has said it will cut off the nation’s mobile phone network.
(More on TIME.com: Read about the initial Internet shutdown.)
When Egypt cut off the Internet last week, a few steady links remained: basically, an ISP by the name of NOOR kept a lifeline to the outside world alive. Non-NOOR users could not connect to sites outside Egypt, effectively dismantling Facebook and Twitter. Meanwhile, the rest of the country was forced to watch all data transmission come to a grinding halt. Internet monitoring firm Renesys is now reporting that NOOR’s connection, too, has disappeared.
(More on TIME.com: Read about how Egypt cut off the Internet.)
Google pulled through yesterday, declaring on their official blog that they have enabled tweeting through a recently acquired company, SayNow. Users call any of several international numbers (+16504194196, +390662207294 or +97316199855) to leave a voicemail, which will then be tweeted. Each will be automatically tweeted using an #egypt hashtag. The same phone numbers can be used to listen to tweets, or be heard at the Speak2Tweet Twitter page, a small step up from people dictating tweets through the phone.
(More from TIME.com: See dramatic photographs of demonstrations in Cairo.)
CNN is now reporting that the government will be shutting down all mobile phone service “during the next few hours ahead of demonstrators’ planned ‘march of millions,” a step much more severe than the initial SMS shutdown reported when the data block became active.
Will the Egyptian government take the disabling of communication networks still further? The world will wait and see. The millions of protesters called on to hit the streets of Cairo this morning very likely will not.