Cutting Egypt’s Internet Access: Who Benefits?

An odd story crossed my desk over the weekend.  Not that there is anything unusual about that… odd stories cross my desk all the time.  This one, however, puzzled me because it just didn’t make much sense.

WiFi-iconAn Associated Press story spoke of the Egyptian Navy capturing three divers [allegedly] in the midst of cutting an undersea cable that feeds Egypt’s internet service.

Why were three unidentified divers attempting to cut Egypt’s internet access?

Two questions immediately came to mind: “Why?” and “Who benefits?”

Neither question has a satisfactory answer, at least not yet?

Col. Ahmed Mohammed Ali said in a statement on his official Facebook page that divers were arrested while “cutting the undersea cable” of the country’s main communications company, Telecom Egypt. The statement said they were caught on a speeding fishing boat just off the port city of Alexandria.

The statement was accompanied by a photo showing three young men, apparently Egyptian, staring up at the camera in what looks like an inflatable launch. It did not further have details on who they were or why they would have wanted to cut a cable.

It does seem odd.

Anyone who despises Egypt’s government, one would think, would want internet access to get their side of the story out to the world press.  Cutting that service doesn’t make any sense from that standpoint.

The only beneficiary of such an act would appear to be the Egyptian government.

In Egypt, as with governments the world over, controlling access to information is the domain of those in power, not those opposed to it.  Those in power always attempt to cut off information.  It's just what governments do.

So why are three unidentified divers apparently playing into the government’s hands?

Good question… and one to which we may never know the answer.

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