Egyptians can now tweet without an Internet connection
After Facebook experienced the state-wide password hijacking attempt organized by the Tunisian government and solved it by using social authentication and routing login attempts coming from inside the country to the https version of the site, Twitter has also had the opportunity to do some out-of-the-box problem solving as Egypt plunges into “Internet darkness” courtesy of president Mubarak.
The question was how to allow the Egyptian people to keep tweeting about the situation in the country and seeing the tweets posted by others? Joining forces with a team of engineers from Google and SayNow, the Twitter team has been able to offer a solution that doesn’t involve using the Internet.
Named Speak2Tweet, the solution allows anyone who doesn’t have access to the Internet to tweet by leaving a voicemail on a dedicated international phone number (+16504194196 or +390662207294 or +97316199855).
A link to the recoding of the message is automatically posted on the speak2tweet Twitter account and identified with a #egypt hashtag. Messages can also be listened to by dialing the same phone numbers.
In the meantime, Avaaz.org and the Tor Project team are trying to do their part in order to connect the Egyptian people back to the Internet.
They have organized a fundraising drive whose goal is to raise enough money to provide “satellite internet devices, other related equipment, to help with network access costs, and general support for Egyptians and people working with Egypt during this crisis and beyond.” The money will be used by the Tor Project for work in areas where the Internet has been jacked.