In Egypt, Dial Up Isn’t Dead, Even Though Other Internet Options Are

Looks like those people who refuse to cancel AOL’s dial up service may be on to something.

As you may have heard, there’s a bit of an uprising going on in Egypt, where citizens are organizing mass protests and gatherings to express their displeasure with the current government.

In an effort to quell the fire fueled by websites like Twitter and Facebook, the Egyptian government flipped the off switch on the internet for the entire country, as well as disabling SMS. This takes things even further than normal tactics of blocking access to specific sites.

While the internet and mobile services are hobbled, phone lines may still be operational, and various companies have stepped up to offer dial-up internet access so that citizens can continue to use internet services to send news out and communicate with each other to further organize.

Lest you start to wonder why this matters to you, someone reading in the US, consider a bill set to be vote on later this year. Senators Lieberman and Collins introduced the ‘Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act’ (PCNAA) bill, which would allow the US government to shut off access to the internet, and keep it offline indefinitely, without judicial oversight. {BoingBoing}

While it’s difficult for most people to imagine not being able to access the internet, or for businesses to imagine a total shutdown of US online commerce, not too long ago the same things may have been difficult for people in Egypt to imagine.

Keep that 56k modem handy.

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