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It was only last week that Google acquired SayNow, a voice messaging startup, They’re already putting them to good use. I mean really good use. As they’ve just announced on the Google Blog, the search giant has teamed up with the incoming SayNow team and Twitter to create a simple speak-to-tweet service for people currently engulfed in the turmoil in Egypt.
Like many people we’ve been glued to the news unfolding in Egypt and thinking of what we could do to help people on the ground. Over the weekend we came up with the idea of a speak-to-tweet service—the ability for anyone to tweet using just a voice connection. We worked with a small team of engineers from Twitter, Google and SayNow, a company we acquired last week, to make this idea a reality. It’s already live and anyone can tweet by simply leaving a voicemail on one of these international phone numbers (+16504194196 or +390662207294 or +97316199855) and the service will instantly tweet the message using the hashtag #egypt. No Internet connection is required.
The current state of affairs in Egypt looks quite bleak for people using Vodafone, Orange, TE Data, and other well-known service providers. It is reported that each of those companies was ordered by the Egyptian government to turn down their internet services. The nature of the order and its legality is of course very unclear at this time. What is known is that nearly in perfect unison many Egyptian ISPs turned down their BGP route announcements to countries outside of Egypt and from what we've been able to gather they're also not peering with each other. The cables connecting ( FLAG and SEABONE ) Egypt to the world are still physically intact. The impact of de-peering is significant; even if someone is able to get packets directly to the edge routers of TE Data or another ISP, no response will be forthcoming.
Access the internet in Egypt now!
Please consider running a relay to help the Tor network grow. Do you have an Amazon account? Are you willing to spend up to $3 a month?
This document explains how to configure a particular application for use with Tor and thus the Tor network. As Tor constantly evolves, the knowledge and understanding about anonymity online also evolves. Implementations and other aspects of online anonymity become more and more complex.