lesson learned

This is 26 Ramses Street, Cairo, location of Telecom Egypt. The state-run communications company houses the main internet portals that connect Egyptians with the outside world. On Jan 28, 2011 Telecom Egypt shut down those portals in an attempt to derail to sustained anti-government protests. For five days, internet access was severely restricted, making basic communications extremely difficult, and costing the country billions of dollars.

Mikhail from New York (who appears to be a competent network engineer) has some great technical advice if you’re planning a revolution:

Lesson learned: if you’re planning a revolution, consider preparing a home-grown line-of-sight WiFi mesh that can be deployed quickly – perhaps using community-based volunteers to host individual nodes. Be sure to operate your own routing infrastructure independently, and be prepared for saboteurs. Also, remember to host your own communications and coordination software, encrypt everything, and take a minimalist, low-bandwidth application design approach.

It’s hardly a very resilient revolution if you’re dependent on data centers and ISPs in foreign countries for your core mobilization tools.

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