Egypt restores Internet connectivity

The news coming out of Egypt is, for a change, good: it appears that the country has relented and switched the Internet back on for its citizens, ending its self-imposed communications blackout.

According to locals posting to microblogging service Twitter, the nation's Internet connections came back online within the last hour along with mobile voice and data services. All lines of communication had been cut following protests against the rule of President Hosni Mubarak, by order of the government.

So far, there has been no official statement as to whether the move represents acknowledgement from the government that its attempts to censor the flow of information leaving the country has failed, or whether the communications providers have unilaterally decided to ignore the government edict in the face of growing dissent from the populace.

The country's initial decision to disconnect itself from the Internet - the first country to have ever done so voluntarily - lead to a declaration of support from digital vigilante posse Anonymous, a group more readily associated with fighting copyright lobbies over filesharing lawsuits. Speaking for Anonymous, Twitter user 'instajoker' stated: "Anonymous awaits to hear from our Egyptian brothers."

While the restoration of external communications is a positive sign, the political situation in Egypt continues to be a cause for concern. With reports of the armed forces refusing orders to fire on protesters, the situation is likely to come to a head in the next few days.