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01 November 2006

Syriaizing the Egyptian Blogosphere.

Despite the huge fame and effect the blogs have achieved in the whole world in the last few years. The Egyptian society is somehow not fully connected, and the technology awareness here is not the same as in places such as USA, Europe, and Japan. So, due to this fact the government here didn't pay much attention to blocking internet sites. But lately after the sexual harassment incident Malek has mentioned in his blog, which he also documented by photos. He also mentioned that this incident happened in Cairo downtown and there weren't enough policemen in the streets at that time in order to prevent it. And now after a while the incident in being mentioned in some TV channels, and newspapers here and there. And guess what, yesterday I found my parents talking about it. The point is that it is the first time - as far as I know - that blogs have such effect on the society here. It's the first time for a blog post to get out of the blogosphere right to people who don't deal with blogs, internet, computers, etc.

I really want to know how the Egyptian government, and the National Security are going to deal with this. Are they going to pay more attention to blogs and web-forums, and may be try to block them as well!? Is the Chinese model of dealing with the internet on its way to be implemented here in Egypt!? Many Middle Eastern countries are implementing the same model such as Syria, Saudia, Iran, etc. But, let's face it, with softwares such as Democracy TV, Proxy Servers, and even Blog Aggregators it is really hard to block a blog or two in order to prevent people from saying what they want. The authorities will just end up playing hide-and-seek with people, however at the end of the day people will get to read what they want. Another solution the government can use, is arresting bloggers, and using brutal methods in order to fight free speech. But people can simply write using anonymous identities and in such case they government will end up with searching for ghosts. The final solution, or the governments last resort will be totally blocking the internet and sending Egypt to middle ages. And I can't imagine any sane government thinking of doing such thing.

Finally, any government can make life harder for its people, but they will never be able to kill their will to know.

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