Internet Shutdowns Drive Protestors in Middle East

Helle Dale /

Shutting down the Internet did precious little good for Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak. It is not likely to do Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi much good either. In fact, it appeared to intensify the determination of the Arab protesters, who found themselves cut off from the world. Yet on Friday, that was exactly what the Qadhafi regime did, followed by an intermission on Saturday. This is based on information from Arbor Networks, which collected data from 30 Internet providers around the world.

The fact is that Internet access is now sufficiently widespread in the Middle East to have acquired almost the statute of natural law. Philosophers will argue whether such a right exists, but the feeling is clearly there among the Middle East’s sea of youth that connectivity is right up there with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. (more…)