Facebook Messenger, social networks and news websites disrupted in Egypt amidst protests

Network data from the NetBlocks internet observatory reveal interruption to Facebook Messenger, Facebook image CDN servers, as well as BBC News and other news websites in Egypt with two leading providers from Sunday, 22 September 2019.

Confirmed: Facebook Messenger, BBC News and social media CDN servers limited in #Egypt by leading companies amidst presentations versus federal government corruption; occurrence continuous #KeepItOn

https://t.co/MId8ABwkjf pic.twitter.com/ZVIZd7BhRs

— NetBlocks.org (@netblocks) September 22, 2019

Technical measurements reveal that the social networks and messaging platforms ended up being not available on AS8452 (Telecom Egypt) and AS24835 (Raya) on Sunday amid increased political stress following the publication of videos alleging state corruption. Egypt has seen some of its first political presentations in years after the political videos went viral on social networks.

The affected websites were previously unrestricted and social networks platforms are not typically obstructed in Egypt. NetBlocks information confirm extensive user reports of problem accessing the services on Sunday.

The event is ongoing at the time of writing. Measurements also indicate a duration of constraint to Facebook image and upload servers although these services are periodically readily available.

The brand-new circumstances of network filtering are most likely to impact media freedom and the rights to complimentary assembly and association at a time when dissent is currently limited in the area.

Why are Egyptians opposing?

Egypt saw a 2nd night of clashes on Saturday and lots of arrests in presentations against President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi. Anger spread after Egyptian business person and actor Mohamed Ali posted videos online declaring that Sisi squandered millions on luxury homes at a time when numerous Egyptians remain in poverty.

As clashes intensified, authorities utilized tear gas to reduce the protests. Participation is currently low compared to uprisings in past years, the demonstrations sustained by social media have been seen as significant at a time when Egypt’s opposition is struggling to find representation in federal government.

Is the internet down in Egypt?

Limitations are currently limited to specific online platforms and there is no indication of a wider across the country web blackout at the time of composing.

Subscribers of state-run telecoms operator Telecom Egypt and Raya, which are likewise marketed under other brand names, are presently impacted by the social media and news platform limitations.

Network data reveal that Facebook Messenger is substantially interrupted for these users, while other users may experience intermittent difficultly uploading and accessing images on the Facebook social networks platform. The UK’s BBC News and US-supported Alhurra News are also affected.


NetBlocks previously recognized the censorship of project websites throughout the 2019 Egyptian constitutional referendum. Technical restrictions briefly triggered disruption to social media link shortening services, triggering widespread disruption to social media sharing for numerous hours.

Network measurements on Sunday, 22 September drawn from several viewpoint validate the filtering of messaging, social media and news platforms in Egypt


Internet efficiency and service reachability are determined through NetBlocks web probe measurements. Each measurement consists of latency round journey time, interruption type and self-governing system identity aggregated in real-time to evaluate service accessibility and latency in a given country throughout service numerous network companies.

NetBlocks diffscans, which map the entire IP address space of a country in genuine time, reveal web interruptions corresponding to connectivity disturbances. Purposeful internet outages usually have an unique network pattern utilized by NetBlocks to identify and attribute the root cause of a failure, a procedure understood as attribution which follows detection and category phases.

NetBlocks is a civil society group operating at the intersection of digital rights, cyber-security and web governance. Independent and non-partisan, NetBlocks makes every effort for an open and inclusive digital future for all.

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The post Facebook Messenger, social media and news websites disrupted in Egypt in the middle of demonstrations appeared first on NetBlocks.

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