Escalating tensions and persistent protests have now prompted the government of Egypt to completely block all access to internet as well as SMS services.

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. This was elicited by the fact that the protestors were able to unite and organize rallies with the help of social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.

Latest reports suggest that internet services were disrupted early on Friday. The blockade applied to all forms of internet access including 3G and Blackberry internet services. The short messaging service on mobile phones has also been hit.

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 since 1981. The revolution in Tunisia, which led to the dethroning of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali is seen as one of the influences behind the massive anti-government movement in Egypt.

In the protests that continued on Wednesday and Thursday, seven were killed, including five demonstrators and two police personnel.

In a blog post, Front to Defend Egypt Protestors (FDEP) documented the government crackdown on demonstrators via controlling the flow of information through online platforms and communications means.

The FDEP accused that the telecommunication companies Vodafone, Mobinil and Etisalat of cooperating with the crackdown citing security reasons. When the members of the Front called customer services of Vodafone, Mobinil and Etisalat, one other reason they reportedly got from the companies was that we choose specific customers to disable the services from them.