Engineers at consultancy Renesys Corp. confirmed late Thursday that Egypt had all but disconnected from the Internet on the eve of what was expected to be a day of serious anti-government rioting. Renesys's blog stated: "Approximately 3,500 individual BGP routes were withdrawn, leaving no valid paths by which the rest of the world could continue to exchange Internet traffic with Egypt's service providers." Commentators have noted the significant part played by social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter in the unrest to date. (See Egypt Unplugs From the Internet.)
Deutsche Welle reports that the telecom regulator of Kosovo, the fragile Balkan state, has decreed that the age of the anonymous pre-paid SIM card is over, and that as from Feb. 28 all existing SIMs must be registered or their owners face disconnection. Some commentators fear, however, that the move will have dire consequences for the security of personal data.