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Twitter blocked in Egypt as demonstrations continue

By Almira Al Hussaini

Egypt has just upped its war on the Internet, and cut access to mobile phone communications, in areas where thousands of protesters are reportedly gathering in today's Day of Revolution. The aim seems to be an attempt to control the flood of protesters and strangle the movement.

Demonstrations have sprung across the country today, with calls for the end of President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule, corruption, economic failings as well as other grievances. Word of the protests and gathering points have been announced on social networking sites, including microblogging site, Twitter, which has been blocked by the authorities.

Such censorship has sparked the anger of activists, especially since it is the first time in Egypt's history that such heavy-handedness is used to silence people online. The move is a stark reminder of the iron fist with which ousted Tunisian strongman Zeine El Abidine Ben Ali clamped down on the Internet, in neighbouring Tunisia, whose uprising has inspired millions of Arabs.

This article originally appeared in Global Voices.

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