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Egypt: Facebook Surged Just Before Web Blackout

/ Source: SecurityNewsDaily

Web traffic in Egypt drastically spiked in the days before the country’s government shut down the Internet, with Facebook accounting for 42 percent of all online surfing.

The security firm Zscaler monitored Egyptian Web servers from Jan. 24 to Jan. 28 and found that on Jan. 27, the day before the Internet went dark, Facebook (and its advertising) took a dominant slice of all Web activities.

It was followed by news and media sites, which took up 26 percent of traffic.

Web traffic surged 68 percent on Jan. 26 from the day before. Two days later, it was at zero.

Mike Geide, Zscaler’s senior security researcher, analyzed the traffic leading up to the Internet blackout. He told SecurityNewsDaily that Facebook would have been a great asset in helping the protesters organize.

Still, Geide is wowed by the “resilience of the Egyptian people to circumvent the situation they’re in” – using alternate methods of making their voices heard.

One such method is speak-to-tweet, a partnership between Twitter and Google that allows Egyptians to tweet via voice mail carried over international landlines.