Egypt – Network field report

Yesterday’s protests in Egypt have led to certain network restrictions in the telecommunications infrastructure. Although networks are still up and most sites and destinations are still available, here are some confirmed blocks that need circumvention. Please note that this information can change very fast, and is only accurate for some time.

Twitter

There is a controversy about whether Twitter is actively blocked or just down due to a network error. Vodafone Egypt denied blocking Twitter, however, Tor developer Jacob Appelbaum argues that there is filtering going on.

This block is easy to circumvent by using third party Twitter updaters. For example brizzly.com or the Telecomix service status.telecomix.org. You set these third party services to update your Twitter account, and then you are through.

The correct hashes for the https://twitter.com are shown on the image below:

Please be careful with verifying Twitter; if it is blocked, it may also become a target for man-in-the-middle attacks.

Other sites
Other blocks include the news site dostor.org and some have reported Al Jazeera news sites to be inaccessible. Also video streaming site Bambuser is reported to be blocked.

Circumvention

The Tor software is reported to work and is available for download. Use Tor with Torbutton.

It is recommended to patch up your browser with Https everywhere and NoScript to force as much encrypted traffic as possible and to avoid malicious scripts from hijacking your accounts.

Mirroring

Right now video services (such as Youtube) seem to work inside Egypt. However, the Streisand Team are pre-emptively downloading videos for fast mirroring if blocks get worse. If services go down, there will be a thousand copies.

This was all very technical. But security always comes first. So keep an eye on those https-certificates!

(If this blog post was useful, anyone is free to redistribute/translate/remix it.)

Update Parts of this post has been translated to arabic on a Telecomix resource page.

6 reaktioner till “Egypt – Network field report”

  1. C Magnus: To my knowledge there are no open softwares that give encryption while being reasonably easy to use.

    Skype is key escrowed. It works and it doesn’t work depending on local government deals with getting master keys and/or server hosting for the calls.

  2. I’m keeping this situationa in prayer and I’ll try to get this information to them if possible. All I will say is this- the general populace in Egypt if they are not Islamic Brotherhood need to find a way to stop these people.

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