As protests in Egypt’s Tahrir Square continue late into the night over President Mohamed Morsi’s declaration of dictator-like powers, protesters and sympathizers are wondering if Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood have cut off Internet and cellphone access as part of Morsi’s power grab.

Photos from the scene show thousands gathered in Tahrir with no sign of dispersing, despite reports of tear gas being fired into the crowd.

Egypt has shut down access to social networks before. Under former president Hosni Mubarak, the government had blocked access to Twitter, Facebook and YouTube in January of 2011 — a development no one is anxious to see again.

Others, though, are calling the claims a false alarm and citing overloaded networks.

As we all know, social networks can spread misinformation just as quickly as the truth. Is it possible that rumors of an Internet crackdown are disguising an ulterior motive? Some are encouraging residents in the area to turn off the security on their home Wifi networks to help protesters communicate. Could the reports be a large “phishing” attempt?

  • Josephine (D)

    Doesn’t matter who your dictator is; either way, they don’t want their people to be influenced by the non-Egyptian world.

  • nc

    Since our election, Gaza has erupted, now Egypt, what’s next?

    • my preciousss!!

      arab winter?

  • my preciousss!!

    from Mursi’s desk: to do list.
    – grant me mullah powers today
    – cut off link to outside world when riots occur tomorrow.
    – if riot persists, run them over with tanks
    – follow up on that Swiss bank transfer that i got from US aid
    – crown myself Pharaoh? i wait next month.

  • Maria

    Sounds like a phishing attempt to me. However, it’s only a matter of time before the internet IS cut off to the whole country thanks to their new dictator.

  • JustLikeAnimals

    Yeah, and Hillary just sat next to this clown and praised his leadership on the world stage. This administration is a hodge-podge of poor judgement, bad decisions, incompetence, ineptness, and just plain ‘ole stupidity. Nice move, Barack Hussein.