Egyptian Government, Telecom Operator Deny Blocking Twitter

Both the Egyptian government and the company behind the government’s network claim to have no involvement in the reported blocking of Twitter. Since Tuesday, Twitter has been largely inaccessible from within Egypt, except through a few third-party applications.

Twitter was being used to organize protests against the perceived illegitimate and authoritarian government in Egypt prior to it being blocked on Tuesday. Twitter has officially acknowledged that it has been blocked, saying that traffic from Egypt has greatly diminished since Tuesday.

According to the BBC, the Egyptian government denied blocking access to Twitter, saying that it “respected freedom of expression.”

The Twitter account of the main telecom operator in the country, VodafoneEgypt also issued a denial, tweeting that they were not responsible for the block:

If indeed neither of these entities blocked Twitter in Egypt, it’s unclear who else would have the motivation or the technological capability to do so. While some speculated that Twitter was down purely because of an overload, the official word from Twitter indicating that they are blocked – not simply down – would suggest otherwise.

Protesters in Tunisia earlier this month used Twitter to stage protests, and Twitter was instrumental in the Iranian revolution in 2009. It appeared as though Egyptians would also turn to the microblogging service to plan and execute mass protests, but with the blockage very few are able to access the service.