Libya Disconnects From The Internet… Because That Worked So Well In Egypt

from the the-best-laid-plans dept

Late Friday, Libya followed Egypt’s trailblazing in shutting off the internet for the entire country. Of course, after Egypt did this, it quickly discovered that it didn’t work and only served to increase the resolve of protesters. On top of that, it was a serious economic blow to the Egyptian economy for the week it was offline. Given those lessons, you would think that other countries would know better than to do the same, but apparently that’s now how various authoritarian leaders think these days.

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Comments on “Libya Disconnects From The Internet… Because That Worked So Well In Egypt”

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13 Comments
Snidely (profile) says:

Don't be a clueless American...

It’s going to work a lot better in Libya. Egypt is the pinnacle of freedom compared to Libya. There is little internet use, decent cell phone penetration, but no freedom of any kind at all. Libya is just barring foreign jounos from even coming to the country and any local journos reporting on the topic will be killed. How’s that for cutting off the news stream?

Lumping the two countries together just shows ignorance of the differences between the governments. Economic impact? Who cares. Oil is the only thing of value produced in Libya, but they are a small player with no influence on world prices. Gadaffi is a crazy person who doesn’t care a lick about world opinion. So he kills a few hundred Libyans. He’s survived being a pariah before, why change now? I expect a harsh crack down and Gaddafi to remain in power with only a few cosmetic changes that will quickly be rolled back. That guy is going to give up power when you pry it from his cold dead hand.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Don't be a clueless American...

Touche.

Actually Libya has changed a lot in recent years. Your comment would have made sense in 1980 or 1990 but not now.

Libya now has an educated middle class many of whom have spent time overseas and are anxious to move their country forward into the modern world.

We are negotiating agreements with Libyan Universities for joint Masters level programs where students will spend around half their time in the UK. (Some of our staff, who were due to visit Libya soon, have been watching the news anxiously). A lot of these programs are internet related – a big motivator has been the Libyan desire to use the internet to move their economy forward

The regime has been backing these developments up to now. It will be interesting to see what happens.

Egypt and Libya are different in that, whilst Egypt has always been freer than Libya, it has been moving in the wrong direction of late – whereas Libya has been getting more open.

Etch says:

As an Egyptian who took part in the protests, it was really interesting to watch, how only when the authorities started shutting down the phone lines and the internet, and blocking world news organizations, that people really started to realize that something big was taking place, and that the only way to know what was really happening was to actually take to streets, which easily quadrupled our numbers in a single day!
That really backfired on the authorities and they decided to quickly switch the services back! But by then it was too late, people were out on the streets and refused to go home.

Then what really turned the people against Mubarak was pulling the police off the streets and releasing prisoners and thugs!
Egyptians weren’t used to this type of chaos and most Mubarak supporters that were left quickly turned on him.

Then the labour unions joined in droves, and many state institutions quickly followed, until he was left isolated, with many of his allies turning against him, and what we think really happened was a Military Coup, disguised as a “stepping down” of the President by his former generals in a bid to afford him some sort of a less dramatic exit!

The Egyptian Army has never in its history, and will never fire on its own people! The army’s position gave us a huge advantage and allowed the voice of the people to prevail!

The Libyan Army doesn’t seem to be following that same concept. And it looks like it might be heading down a much bloodier path.

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