Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Egypt's Last ISP, Noor Group, Vanishes from 'Net
The Noor Group, the last remaining Egyptian ISP that remained online, has disappeared from the Internet.
According to Renesys, Noor went offline at about 20:46 UTC, or about 3:45 PM ET.
"Very little about the Internet is indisputable, but we can say with certainty that Noor originated and transited prefixes are no longer seen from any of hundreds of vantage points around the globe," the editors of the Renesys blog post, which included Earl Zmijewski, a Renesys vice president and general manager, wrote.
The authors also speculated that the outage also resulted in a termination of in-country communications, as well. "Without a way to reach them at present, we cannot comment on current in-country availability of services," they wrote. "However, we have past evidence of a lack of peering in-country, so even if various providers are up, they may not be able to exchange traffic with one another, partitioning the country."
Government officials ordered the shut down of Internet service in part to stop protestors from organizing on the Web via social-networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. In fact, Internet connectivity issues in the region first started last week when Egypt blocked access to Twitter and Facebook.
Noor, served several top businesses in Egypt, including the Egyptian Stock Exchange; the Egyptian Credit Bureau; and NTG, the National Technology Group providing IT processing to the aviation, banking and financial sectors. But just after 20:45, access to Noor-hosted sites began dropping, and within ten minutes the 80 or so networks that used Noor's services were unreachable, the site said.
For now, Internet access is barely reachable. For those without access to Noor, however, the French Data Network (FDN) is providing those with landlines access to dial-up networks.
"Because this is definitely [an] open attack from a state against [the] Internet, FDN has decided to open a small window on the network by giving access to anyone interested a modem access account," FDN said in a statement on its Web site.
The service will work for anyone with an analog land line that is capable of calling France, FDN said. The phone number and password is available on its blog.
Google, meanwhile, launched a tweet-by-phone service that will allow phone users access to Twitter services via SayNow, a service Google acquired that will transcribe the short messages into tweets.