5 Things You Can Do To Support Egyptians From Anywhere
From Flickr user Sarah Carr
It's the weekend! And a possible revolution steams forward in Egypt. The stakes are incredibly high - a point underlined by the news that activists targeted for their involvement in the failed 2009 uprising in Iran were hung yesterday - so it makes sense that international onlookers are looking for any way that they might be able to help. Here are some ways to get involved if you're not in Egypt but want to do something.
Note that a lot of these are for the more technically inclined. If that's not you, one thing you can do is spread these tips who may be.
1. Go to a solidarity protest. Protests at Egyptian embassies around the world began on Friday and will most continue at least through the weekend. Get in touch with the groups in your city and ask what they're planning and how you can help. Here's the Facebook event and here's another good roundup of times/dates/places.
2. Help Egyptians to dial up. You can help to distribute the phone numbers and login information for dial-up Internet services in other countries. An organization called Telecomix News Agency is providing dial up modem service to Egyptians, with the number +46850009990 - you can offer to provide your own modem service - to that go to the chat room, sign in with a nickname, and ask how you can help. Also, the dial ups at this site are constantly being updated. You can also help distribute direct phone in numbers for people in Egypt to submit reports. Here are the numbers to share information with Al Jazeera: +97444896192 or +97444896190.
3. Get involved in the effort to increase communication between Egyptians and the world using ham radios. As long as it stays difficult for Egyptians to get information out - and especially government's crackdown grows more violent - it's worth looking into use of ham radios for communication between people in and outside the country. So far, some ham afficionados have been creating communications channels between Egypt and the rest of the world using the ham networks - Egyptians are sending morse code signals to the ham radios, its getting decoded, and posted on the internet. The best way to see if you can help is to dip into the Twitter stream and @ reply to someone there, but you can also check out the chat room.
4. When people do get back online, it'll be more important than ever for them to browse anonymously. Make it easier for them to do this by allowing them to connect to website by way of your network. Youre basically donating some of your bandwidth to Egyptians trying to get online. It's also called "running a relay". You can run a relay on most operating systems. Here's the guide from Tor on how to run a relay.
5. Apps for Apocalypse and Open Mesh. Activists don't need the World Wide Web to be connected with each other. By creating local networks, kind of like a much smaller version of the internet, that aren't routed through the Egyptian network, people within the country can share information amongst them selves. Unfortunately, for this to be working now there would've had to be more preparation. To be ready for next time, people are finding each other on Twitter and discussing ways that new technologies could be developed to make it as easily as possible for activists to maintain connectivity next time there's a total internet shut off like the one we're seeing in Egypt. With legislation in the U.S. to give an internet "kill switch" button to the president back in play, it seem as if this could happen anywhere. If you’re interested in volunteering or getting involved in any way then visit OpenMeshProject.org or tweet @Shervin.
You can also visit Access' web site and sign their petition pressuring mobile providers Vodaphone and Orange France to open the Egyptian networks. Also, for more resources and security tips, check out this wiki, and go ahead and follow Jacob Appelbaum on Twitter -- from organizing getting sat phones to Egyptians, to ham radios, to Tor to dial up, he's serving as a one man internet relief organization.
Anything we missed? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.