Phone-to-Twitter bridge for use in an Internet-less Egypt

Over the weekend, engineers from Google, Twitter and SayNow (a recent Google acquisition) built a phone-to-Twitter bridge to allow Egyptians to transmit and receive #jan25-related tweets without accessing the Internet:
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. People can listen to the messages by dialing the same phone numbers or going to twitter.com/speak2tweet.
Tell your friends! In Egypt!

Some weekend work that will (hopefully) enable more Egyptians to be heard (via Reddit)

(Image: Egyptian pay phone, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from s_w_ellis's photostream)

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  1. Great idea! Glad we can count on Twitter, Google, & Co. to make democracy possible if (when?) civil unrest hits the United States as a result of widening disparities in wealth made possible by its authoritarian regime. Not.

  2. From FDN (http://blog.fdn.fr/):

    Internet Censorship in Egypt: a humble action from FDN

    According to this news article, it appears that last night the egyptian governing instances ordered the egyptian Internet service providers to shut down their international interconnexions, and with them the rest of the Internet.

    This action was frighteningly efficient, as today the Internet “unlearned” how to reach Egypt and it is no longer possible to communicate with the egyptian people by email, forum, usenet, or any other IP-based technology.

    Following this, this morning SMS services seem to have also been shut down thereby depriving the egyption people of any electronic mean of communcation.

    For this reason, and because this is definitely a open attack from a state against Internet, FDN has decided to open a small window on the network by giving access to anyone interested a modem access account.

    This way, anyone in Egypt who has access to a analog phone line and can call France is able to connect to the network using the following number: +33 1 72 89 01 50 (login: toto, password: toto).

    We hope by this action to contribute to the freedom of expression of the egyptian people and allow them to keep a connection with the rest of the world. Finally let’s emphasize that FDN only offers a technical solution.

  3. This is an amazing thing to see these companie’s collaborate on. Way to go!! I wish I understood the language most of the callers were speaking but the idea and message is what is important and the fact that information is still getting out of Egypt to the world is fantastic.

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