Before Thursday's seemingly more concerted halt of internet services, access to Twitter and Facebook in Egypt was becoming spotty.
These services have played major roles in protests in Tunisia and Iran and for dissidents in China.
The Egyptian government has said publicly that it is not censoring websites.
The Egyptian protests are meant to challenge a lack of basic amenities, from affordable food to a decent standard of living.
"These people," Sharma said of Egypt's low-income population, "are not Twittering and Facebooking and e-mailing.
They've never even heard of the damned internet, most of them." Calling and text messaging is how most Egyptians keep in touch and where most of the organizing has been done on the ground there, said Sharma, who has kept in contact with dozens of friends in Egypt during the protests.
Arbor's security researcher, Craig Labovitz, has been digging through the connection data, and said that the outages were no coincidence.REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh Under the deal, signed during a visit by the Saudi king in April, Riyadh was meant to send 700,000 tonnes a month of refined fuel to Egypt. A week later, Sisi bit the hand that has fed him since he took power in 2013: Egypt voted in favor of a Russian-backed U. resolution on Syria, which Saudi Arabia strongly opposed.The agreement threw a lifeline to Cairo and was meant to bury suggestions that the relationship had unraveled. Amid the feud, the Saudi ambassador has boarded a plane to travel temporarily back home to Riyadh.Sisi referred to the dispute in a speech on Thursday, denying that Egypt’s position on Syria was the reason for the fuel cut-off.He also struck a defiant tone unlikely to endear him to the Gulf Arab kings and princes that have kept his country afloat.This remains a common practice for people in China looking to skirt the government's "great wall" blocking certain Web services.Proxies can trick internet providers and routing services designed to block certain cities or countries into believing that a person is located elsewhere. Lack of cell and landline phone service could prove to be a bigger obstacle to demonstration organizers than the internet disruption.Many of Egypt's impoverished citizens don't rely on the Web in their day-to-day lives anyway, said Parvez Sharma, a documentary filmmaker on Middle Eastern culture.But social media sites have been used by key event organizers to reach other visible activists with Web access and to get the word back to other parts of the world.Sharma, an active social media user, is encouraging them to leave notes on his Facebook wall because many friends were scared that posting to their own pages might catch the attention of the government, he said.