Mubarak Govt shuts down Internet, Egypt is now in an undisclosed location online

Via Renesys CTO, James Cowie:

Confirming what a few have reported this evening: in an action unprecedented in Internet history, the Egyptian government appears to have ordered service providers to shut down all international connections to the Internet. Critical European-Asian fiber-optic routes through Egypt appear to be unaffected for now. But every Egyptian provider, every business, bank, Internet cafe, website, school, embassy, and government office that relied on the big four Egyptian ISPs for their Internet connectivity is now cut off from the rest of the world. Link Egypt, Vodafone/Raya, Telecom Egypt, Etisalat Misr, and all their customers and partners are, for the moment, off the air.

At 22:34 UTC (00:34am local time), Renesys observed the virtually simultaneous withdrawal of all routes to Egyptian networks in the Internet’s global routing table. Approximately 3,500 individual BGP routes were withdrawn, leaving no valid paths by which the rest of the world could continue to exchange Internet traffic with Egypt’s service providers. Virtually all of Egypt’s Internet addresses are now unreachable, worldwide.

Read the whole thing here.

This may turn out to be a dumb and dumber move. Roll back the tape to 1986 and the people power in the Philippines. That was before Google, Facebook and Twitter.  One dictator, family and best friends booted out of that country after years of plunder. Before ISPs.       

 


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Yes, an American civilian employee was involved in Lahore shooting, but it’s not Raymond Davis ….

As can be expected, the Lahore incident made it to the Daily Press Brief with PJ Crowley. He confirmed that 1) an American employee was involved in the shooting, 2) the employee is a civilian, and 3) the name floated around in the news report is “not correct.”

From the Daily Press Brief, January 27:

QUESTION: A new topic. What can you tell us about this Raymond Davis, the – who works at the U.S. Consulate in Lahore and who apparently shot and killed two would-be robbers? What’s his position there? Does he have diplomatic immunity?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, let me say three things. First, I can confirm that an employee at the U.S. Consulate in Lahore was involved in an incident today. It is under investigation. We have not released the identity of our employee at this point. And reports of a particular identity that are circulating through the media are incorrect.

QUESTION: What does that mean? You mean the name?

MR. CROWLEY: I mean the name’s wrong.

QUESTION: The name that – the name that Michele —

MR. CROWLEY: The name that’s out there is wrong.

QUESTION: The name that was just mentioned?

MR. CROWLEY: Including that one.

QUESTION: The one that I just used —

MR. CROWLEY: Yes.

QUESTION: — is wrong?

QUESTION: Is wrong?

MR. CROWLEY: Not correct.

QUESTION: But what – this – the incident involved, you say, an employee of the consulate. But is this someone who has diplomatic immunity? Is this a diplomat?

MR. CROWLEY: Again, I’m going to leave it there for the moment. As we are able to share greater details with you, we will.

QUESTION: Okay. You said you —

QUESTION: And do you know what this individual was doing out and about that day, why he was driving around?

MR. CROWLEY: Again, this is a matter under investigation.

QUESTION: You said you would say three things. You only said two.

MR. CROWLEY: I said three.

QUESTION: What was the third?

MR. CROWLEY: Confirm the employee – there’s —

QUESTION: One, you confirmed an incident.

MR. CROWLEY: It was an employee working at the consulate.

QUESTION: And two, the identities out there are wrong.

MR. CROWLEY: Two, the matter is under investigation, and —

QUESTION: Well, that doesn’t count. (Laughter.)

MR. CROWLEY: All right.

QUESTION: That doesn’t tell us anything.

MR. CROWLEY: I’ve given you everything I’ve got.

QUESTION: But this is a very sensitive country.

QUESTION: He’s a U.S. national and not a Pakistani national, because you could have Pakistanis —

MR. CROWLEY: He is a U.S. national.

QUESTION: Right.

QUESTION: But this is a very sensitive —

MR. CROWLEY: That’s three. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: — a sensitive issue, a sensitive country where anti-Americanism is rife, so —

MR. CROWLEY: I – completely. This is a matter under investigation, and we’ll let the investigation work its course.

QUESTION: And when you say an employee of the consulate, this is a civilian employee, yes? This is not a military person?

MR. CROWLEY: Yes.

QUESTION: And who is doing the investigating? U.S., Pakistani, or both?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, this happened within Pakistan. There’s a Pakistani investigation. We will cooperate fully.

QUESTION: Can you say whether this person was authorized to be carrying a firearm?

MR. CROWLEY: I’m not going to say anything else.

QUESTION: Is this person still in Lahore or has he left the country?

MR. CROWLEY: I’m not aware of any movement.


The Skeptical Bureaucrat
has a couple of new posts on this including a video and his thoughts on WaPo’s SpyTalk piece and source.

About an hour ago, BBC also reported that police in Pakistan have now charged an unnamed US consular official with double murder after they say he shot and killed two motorcycle riders in the eastern city of Lahore. The BBC coverage includes a local video.

The Times of India later reported that a large number of motorists and locals were reported to have gathered outside Lahore’s Old Anarkali police station and blocked the road by burning tyres.

One local Twitter user writes: “There is a rule of thumb for the mob here.Whosoever drives the larger/bigger vehicle is always the bad guy.”

The US Embassy in Islamabad would only confirm that the person involved in this incident is an employee of the consulate and that they are working with Pakistani authorities to investigate the matter.


US ConGen Lahore: US employee in fatal shooting incident

An American citizen who is described as a diplomat is some news account, a consular officer/employee in others and a technical adviser in CSM was reported to be involved in a shooting incident that killed two Pakistanis in the Lahore, Pakistan.  


Via BBC:

An American diplomat in the Pakistani city of Lahore has shot and killed a Pakistani motorcycle rider and his pillion passenger, police say.
[…]
They say that the consular official fired his pistol in self-defence. US embassy officials confirmed that an American was involved.


The men were pursuing the American in his car when the incident happened.


A pedestrian was also killed by a speeding car from the US consulate which came to help, police say.



Via NPR and Wires:

A spokesman at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad confirmed that the staffer is an American who works at the consulate in Lahore, but could not identify his position.
[…]
Lahore police chief Aslam Tareen said the man was being questioned by the police and may be charged with both murder and illegally carrying a weapon: a Beretta pistol. The American shot both men after they pointed guns at him at an intersection, Tareen said.
[…]
Police said the two men, identified as Faisan Haider and Obaid Ur Rehman, were riding motorcycles when the consulate staffer opened fire. Local media quoted witnesses as saying that the men had been “chasing” the American’s car when the shooting began, and police said they had recovered weapons carried by the dead men.


Read more here.



CNN in its report identified the area of the incident as the the busy Kartaba Chawk where “two “boys” on a motorcycle tried to rob him, quoting a police official named Faisal Rana.

Rana identified the American as Raymond Davis.


Alberto Rodriguez, a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, confirmed that the man involved in the shooting is an employee of the U.S. consulate but did not confirm his identity.



The Skeptical Bureaucrat has a blog post on this curious incident here.

The Guardian writes:

Pakistan is considered one of the riskiest posts for American officials, who are posted at the Islamabad embassy and consulates in Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar.

A suicide bomber killed an official working for the National Security Agency outside the Karachi consulate in 2006. Gunmen in Peshawar killed an American aid official in 2008, and later that year opened fire on a vehicle carrying the consul general, who escaped unscathed.

Three US special forces officers were killed in a Taliban bomb attack in Khyber Paktunkhwa province last year.


Diplomats do not generally have permission to carry weapons although some are escorted by armed bodyguards. Security rules vary from city to city, with Lahore considered perhaps the least risky despite the threat from Punjabi militant groups.


We will update if we learn more.