Sudan’s protests grow; Internet still up, potentially monitored by gov’t
Sudanese protests, sparked by worsening economic conditions and the threat of austerity measures by the government, gained momentum on Friday and continued on Saturday. The demonstrations have become larger in the past two days and clashes between protestors and security forces are more common as well. Similar to Arab Spring movements last year, social media has become a popular medium for organizing events. It also relays crucial information of what’s going on around Khartoum and other key cities.
Amira Al Hussaini, writing for Global Voices Online, reported rumors that the government was to shutdown the nation’s Internet, much like Egypt did last year. However, the Internet has not been cut and such is confirmed by Google Transparency Report. The U.S. Embassy Khartoum did warn of potential mobile outages, however:
Internet access and possibly cell phones may be disrupted or limited inSudan due to the protests and demonstrations in the capital city.
— U.S.Embassy Khartoum (@USembassykrt) June 23, 2012
The fear today is that the National Intelligence and Security Services are monitoring social media for names and places. Social media users have been urged to be careful when addressing others directly and when using names.
Don’t Tweet Directly
— Abubakr Abdelaziz (@afabdelaziz) June 23, 2012
Don’t Use Full Name
It’s also safer to not use your real/full name on twitter for a little while #SudanRevolts
— Dina (@dina_os) June 23, 2012
Follow #SudanRevolts to keep up with the highly detailed reports from the protests.
P.S. The telecom industry has faced increasing taxes this year in Sudan. Zain (a telco operating in Sudan with a 57% market share and over 4 million mobile subscriptions) pointed this out earlier in the week. Income tax on telecoms firms has increased from 15% to 30% and the telecoms sales tax has grown from 20% to 30%. The company aims to grow its Sudanese user base by 1 million customers this year.