Last Friday Press Secretary Robert Gibbs Tweeted about his concerns that Egypt reacted to protests by literally shutting down the internet.
Sometime within the last few hours reports started coming out of Egypt that the internet was indeed back up.
After a long stretch of inactivity, RIPE NCC, which tracks Web traffic, recorded a sudden lurch in Egyptian Internet use starting just after 11 a.m. Thursday in Cairo.
A similar tracking organization, Renesys Group, wrote in a blog post that access was restored to websites such as the Egyptian Stock Exchange, Commercial International Bank of Egypt and the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.
The group also said that Facebook and Twitter were back up inside the country, adding that “no traffic blocks are in place … no funny business. For now.”
It didn’t take long for the State Department to take advantage of the newly lifted ban and start Tweeting instructions to Americans looking for ways to get the hell out of Egypt.
Facebook issued a statement regarding the renewed service saying, “We’re pleased that Internet service has been restored and the 5 million people who use Facebook in Egypt can continue using our service to connect, learn, and share.”
It just goes to show you how big a role that Twitter and Facebook are playing on all fronts of this upheaval in Egypt. Not only does it allow Egyptian citizens to communicate and disseminate information, it also allows U.S. citizens to find ways to stay in touch and get important information on safe ways to get out of harms way.