The answer is (thanks to Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman), not without helpful corporations.

Vodafone-Egypt (under a UK parent) used language worthy of a Nuremberg defense in a press release explaining its actions:

All mobile operators in Egypt have been instructed to suspend services in selected areas. Under Egyptian legislation the authorities have the right to issue such an order and we are obliged to comply with it.  The Egyptian authorities will clarify the situation in due course.” (1/28/11)

Vodafone—apparently without any sense of irony—went on to stress its opposition to the Egyptian government’s demand that it and other cell companies engage in mass-texting of unattributed pro-government messages intended to undermine the protests:

Vodafone Group has protested to the authorities that the current situation regarding these messages is unacceptable.” (2/3/11)

Take that, Mubarak! Unacceptable (even though Vodafone sent them anyway)! They even used the word “protested,” which almost begs us to view Vodafone as a victim on par with the crowds in Tahrir Square, rather than as complicit in attempts to repress them.


The technically-oriented among us might be interested in this explanation of how the shutdown actually took place.

About the Author


TomT will be posting under his real name here (at least part of it), in spite of the fact that this site already seems to be crammed-full of Toms. He is a suburban husband and dad doing Union work within public education in the Chicago area. Once in a great while he also posts diaries under the name “Skitters” on Daily Kos, and—during football season—he does his best to chronicle the dark history of a fairly-vicious fantasy league.

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