OVERNIGHT TECH: Egypt shuts down mobile service

Egypt shuts down mobile service 

The Egyptian government said Monday it plans on shutting down mobile service ahead of an anticpated protest march on Tuesday. Authorities there have cracked down on almost all Web traffic in response to ongoing protests against the regime of President Hosni Mubarak.

Later on Monday Google announced it has teamed up with Google to allow Egyptians to circumvent their government's ban on most Web access by posting messages to Twitter using traditional phone lines and voicemails.

Also, Google's head of marketing for the Middle East and North Africa Wael Ghonim was reported missing by his brother after joining the protests in Cairo. Ghonim tweeted the following before disappearing:

"Pray for #Egypt. Very worried as it seems that government is planning a war crime tomorrow against people. We are all ready to die #Jan25"

More Google News

Google spent $5.2 million on lobbying in 2010, up from $4.03 million in 2009. Right on cue, Consumer Watchdog's John Simpson called the search giant hypocritical for not publicly sharing the 89-page slideshow they present to policymakers and regulators.

Finally, reports Google and the Justice Department are in talks over licensing requirements for ITA Software's technology were not enough to satisfy competitors in the FairSearch coalition, which re-iterated its call for Justice to block Google's proposed acquisition of the firm.

TUESDAY: The New America Foundation will hold a panel at 12:15pm to discuss whether community wireless networks are the answer to bridging the digital divide. Speakers include Dr. Laura Forlano of Yale Law School's Information Society Project, New America senior policy analyst Benjamin Lennett and Dr. Gwen Shaffer of the University of California, Irvine.

Secretary Gary Locke will announce the latest data on the tourism and travel industry at an 8:30am event at the Commerce Department.

IBM CEO Samuel Palmisano will visit his alma mater Johns Hopkins in Baltimore to speak to academics and business leaders. He will discuss ways in which IBM’s ideas have helped shaped the past century and how the firm is positioned for the 21st century.

Palmisano will in Washington on Wednesday with Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell to discuss how technology can help the federal government reduce the deficit and improve services to citizens.

Homeland Security Committee not happy with comparisons between cyber bill & Egyptian crackdown

A spokesman for the Senate Committee on Homeland Security blasted the notion that there is any connection between Egypt's censorship of Internet access and a cybersecurity bill that passed the committee last summer that would allow the White House to shut down private networks in the event of a catastrophic attack.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) recently indicated that she plans to re-introduce the bipartisan legislation she crafted last year with chairman Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.). Critics such as the ACLU have claimed the bill gives the president a "kill switch" for the Internet.

"Any comparison between Egypt’s actions and the Senators’ bill is specious," Leslie Phillips, communications director for Lieberman said, arguing the Senators' bill is aimed at protecting the U.S. from an external attack, while Egyptian authorities have moved to restrict internal opposition.

White House touts efforts to boost tech startups

The White House also rolled out its new "Startup America" campaign on Monday with the goal of boosting entrepreurship in the technology and clean energy sectors by matching private sector investment capital and expanding community mentorship programs aimed at young startups. The adminstration also promised to permanently eliminate the capital gains tax on some small business investments and reduce the regulatory burden for small businesses.

Can't-miss news.

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A flaw in a chip will cost Intel $700 million.

Chinese search engines and social networks are blocking the world "Egypt."

The Web is almost out of IPv4 addresses.

Seen.

Facebook manager of Public Policy Communications (and former tech reporter) Andrew Noyes on the cover of Washingtonian magazine's February "The Young & the Guest List" issue. Seems fair to say social media has officially arrived on the Georgetown cocktail party circuit.