The way Twitter managed to get past Egypt's internet shutdown was the perfect example of a crisis breeding innovation
The Observer, Sunday 6 February 2011
".....They worked with a small team of engineers from Twitter and SayNow (a company Google recently acquired) to build the system. It provides three international phone numbers and anyone can tweet by leaving a voicemail. The tweets appear on twitter.com/speak2tweet.
What's exciting about this kind of development is that it harnesses the same kind of irrepressible, irreverent, geeky originality that characterised the early years of the internet, before the web arrived and big corporations started to get a grip on it. Events in Egypt make one realise how badly this kind of innovation is needed. The way in which the Mubarak regime was able to shut down the net provided a sobering reminder of the power of governments that are prepared to take extreme measures. As the country disappeared from cyberspace I was suddenly struck by the thought that if PCs still came with steam-age built-in dial-up modems, Egyptians could have logged on to servers abroad and stayed connected. The only way of stopping that would be to shut down the entire phone system. And even Mubarak might have balked at that."