The government of Egypt has blocked almost all Internet and mobile phone access, and, probably, every other form of communication as well. The government wants to prevent its citizens from protesting and demanding the president to resign.

I wish the people of Egypt well. When the blocks are taken down, I hope the people report that the country is peaceful and that they have finally gotten some freedom.

The government of Egypt claims to be democratic, but what they are doing should not be possible in a democracy. The fundamental aspect of a democracy is that every citizen should have the right to vote, but it is not the only necessary right for a democracy. Making your concerns heard to the government, and to other people, is also a fundamental right. As is hearing what other people have to say.

Riots and violence are not acceptable ways to protest. Cutting everyone off is not going to prevent that, however, and it greatly harms any chance of peaceful resolution. But that's hard to see, when you're effectively a dictator, sitting at the top of a high tower, looking down at the common people.

If the government is actively, and violently, hostile towards its people, the people have three choices: they can submit and accept the situation and continue suffering; they can oppose peacefully; or they can oppose violently. It requires great wisdom to oppose peacefully, and quite a lot of patience.

It's easy, from my northern European point of view, to look at Egypt from afar, and think lofty thoughts. We here in the cold are not safe from such oppression, however.

Evil people in the US have already tried to give the US president similar powers months ago. They're trying again.

It is only a matter of time until this will be proposed in the EU, too, if it hasn't been already.

In a crisis, people need timely access to reliable information, otherwise the crisis gets made worse by rumors and people making bad decisions based on bad data. Switching off communications is never the right solution, from the people's point of view. Those in power obviously think differently.

See also: Information on how to bypass some of the blocks in Egypt.