Egypt appears to have blocked all access to internet in the midst of anti-government demonstrations. US-based internet monitoring Web site Renesys said it has observed virtually simultaneous withdrawal of all routes to Egyptian networks in the Internet's global routing table, just after mid night, local time.

About 3,500 individual Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) routes were withdrawn, leaving no valid paths by which the rest of the world could continue to exchange Internet traffic with Egypt's service providers, Renesys said in a blog post. Virtually all of Egypt's Internet addresses are now unreachable, worldwide.

Every Egyptian provider, every business, bank, Internet cafe, website, school, embassy, and government office that relied on the big four Egyptian ISPs for their Internet connectivity is now cut off from the rest of the world, the blog post says. Link Egypt, Vodafone/Raya, Telecom Egypt, Etisalat Misr, and all their customers and partners are, for the moment, off the air.

88 percent of the ‘Egyptian Internet’ has fallen of the Internet, says another internet monitoring site BGPmon.

What’s different in this case as compared to other ‘similar’ cases is that all of the major ISP’s seem to be almost completely offline, says BGPmon. Whereas in other cases, social media sites such as facebook and twitter were typically blocked. In this case the government seems to be taking a shotgun approach by ordering ISP’s to stop routing all networks.

Soon after protests against the regime of President Hosni Mubarak broke out on Tuesday, the communication blockade began with the blocking of microblogging site Twitter.

Late on Thursday, the interior ministry issued a statement warning of decisive measures against dissidents who planned protests after noon prayers.

The ministry also mentioned the activists sent messages to citizens to gather in a number of mosques in the provinces during Friday prayers.

Thousands have been protesting against Hosni Mubarak, who has been ruling the nation since 1981 after Anwar Sadat was assassinated. The revolution in Tunisia, which led to the dethroning of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, influenced the Egyptians to protest against Mubarak.

Egypt is due to hold presidential elections later this year and Opposition parties are demanding that Mubarak and his son Gamal should stay out of the race.

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