Google and Twitter join forces to beat Egyptian internet blackout


Google and Twitter join forces to beat Egyptian internet blackout

Warwick Ashford

Google and Twitter have joined forces to enable Egyptians to tweet using the phone to bypass a government-imposed internet blackout.

According to internet monitoring firm BGPmon, 88% of the country's internet has been down since anti-government protests erupted across the country.

The two companies have pulled together the technology required for the Speak2Tweet service to convert voice calls into tweets in an effort to keep Egypt connected with the outside world.

"We hope that this will go some way to helping people in Egypt stay connected at this very difficult time. Our thoughts are with everyone there," Google said in its official blog.

Google's head of marketing for Middle East and North Africa, Wael Ghonim, who was in Egypt on a conference, was tweeting about impending violence until 25 January.

But, according to US reports, Ghonim has since gone missing and no further communication has been received from him.

Google has confirmed the news, but declined to comment further, saying only that the security of employees is of paramount importance to the organisation.

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