"Plenty of nations place limitations on communications, sometimes very severe ones. But there are only a few examples of regimes shutting down communications entirely — Burma’s military leaders notably cut connectivity during the protests of 2007, and Nepal did a similar thing after the king took control of the government in 2005 as part of his battle against insurgents. Local Chinese authorities have also conducted similar, short-lived blockades."That Egypt's Internet could be smothered so easily should be sobering for the "Internet will set us free" crowd, but that news is still emerging shows that it's still not so easy to control the external message.
Perhaps we'll ultimately see support for Keck and Sikkink's "boomerang effect," but events in Egypt (and Iran) show how the power of social and mobile media to coordinate collective action at local levels can be blunted. Moreover, it shows why protest organizers should be prepared for the sudden loss of such tools.