Scenario: Your government is displeased with the communication going on in
your location and pulls the plug on your internet access, most likely by
telling the major ISPs to turn off service.

This is what happened in Egypt Jan. 25 prompted by citizen protests,
with sources estimating that the Egyptian government cut off
approximately 88 percent of the country's internet access. What do you
do without internet? Step 1: Stop crying in the corner. Then start
taking steps to reconnect with your network. Hereís a list of things you
can do to keep the communication flowing.

This article is part of a wiki anyone can edit. If you have advice to
add, please email this writer at astrology at earthlink dot net

Preventive measures Make your network tangible Print out your contact
list, so your phone numbers arenít stuck in the cloud. Some mail
services like Gmail allow you to export your online contact list in
formats that are more conducive to paper, such as CSV or Vcard, and
offer step-by-step guides on how to do this.

Broadcast on the radio CB Radio: Short for "Citizens Band" radio, these
two-way radios allow communication over short distances on 40 channels.
You can pick one up for about $20 to $50 at Radio Shack, and no license
is required to operate it.

Ham radio: To converse over these radios, also known as "amateur
radios," you have to obtain an operator's license from the FCC. Luckily,
other Wired How-To contributors have already explained exactly what you
need to do to get one and use it like a pro.

GMRS: The General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) is a licensed land-mobile
FM UHF radio service in the United States available for short-distance
two-way communication. It is intended for use by an adult individual who
possesses a valid GMRS license, as well as his or her immediate family
members... They are more expensive than the walkie talkies typically
found in discount electronics stores, but are higher quality.

Family Radio Service: The Family Radio Service (FRS) is an improved
walkie talkie radio system authorized in the United States since 1996.
This personal radio service uses channelized frequencies in the ultra
high frequency (UHF) band. It does not suffer the interference effects
found on citizens' band (CB) at 27 MHz, or the 49 MHz band also used by
cordless phones, toys, and baby monitors.

Microbroadcasting: Microbroadcasting is the process of broadcasting a
message to a relatively small audience. This is not to be confused with
low-power broadcasting. In radio terms, it is the use of low-power
transmitters to broadcast a radio signal over the space of a
neighborhood or small town. Similarly to pirate radio, microbroadcasters
generally operate without a license from the local regulation body, but
sacrifice range in favor of using legal power limits.

Phone- Set up a phone tree: According to the American Association of
University Women, a phone tree is "a prearranged, pyramid-shaped system
for activating a group of people by telephone" that can "spread a brief
message quickly and efficiently to a large number of people." Dig out
that contact list you printed out and follow the steps on the AAUW
website to spread the message down your pyramid of contacts.

Enable Twitter via SMS: Though the thought of unleashing the Twitter
fire hose in your text message inbox may seem horrifying, it would be
better than not being able to connect to the outside world at all. The
Twitter website has full instructions on how to redirect tweets to your

Alex Jones and have a telephone number for people to listen
to his radio show by phone, in case the internet goes down, or if you
don't have internet. The phone in listen line is 512-646-5000.

Fax If you need to quickly send and receive documents with lengthy or
complex instructions, phone conversations may result in
misunderstandings, and delivering the doc by foot would take forever.
Brush the dust off that bulky old machine, establish a connection by
phone first with the recipient to make sure his machine is hooked up,
then fax away.

You may not need a fax machine to send or receive faxes if your computer
has a dial-up fax application.

Getting back online While it might be relatively easy for a government
to cut connections by leveraging the major ISPs, there are some places
they wouldn't get to so readily, like privately-owned networks and
independent ISPs.

Find the privately-run ISPs In densely populated areas, especially in
central business districts and city suburbs there are multiple home WiFi
networks overlapping each other, some secure, some not. If there is no
internet, open up your WiFi by removing password protection: If enough
people do this it's feasible to create a totally private WiFi service
outside government control covering the CBD, and you can use
applications that run Bonjour (iChat on Mac for example) to communicate
with others on the open network and send and receive documents. **needs
more clarification so if you understand this write to me at astrology at earthlink net

If you are a private ISP, it's your time to shine. Consider allowing
open access to your Wi-Fi routers to facilitate communication of people
around you until the grid is back online.

Return to dial-up According to an article in the BBC about old tech's
role in the Egyptian protests, "Dial-up modems are one of the most
popular routes for Egyptians to get back online. Long lists of
international numbers that connect to dial-up modems are circulating in
Egypt thanks to net activists We Re-Build, Telecomix and others."

Dial-up can be slow. Often, there is a lightweight mobile version of a
site that you can load from your desktop browser quickly despite the
limitations of dial-up. Examples:,,

Ad-Hoc Networking- Most wireless routers, PCs, laptops, and even some
ultramobile devices like cellphones have the ability to become part of
an "ad hoc" network, see WIRELESS MESH . Different "nodes" (all devices on a
network) share the responsibility of transmitting data with one another.
These networks can become quite large, and are often very easy to set
up. If used properly by a tech-savvy person, such networks can be used
to host temporary websites and chat rooms. There are many internet
tutorials on the internet for ad hoc networking, so feel free to google

Apple computers tend to have very accessible ad hoc functionality built
in, including a pre-installed chat client (iChat) that will
automatically set up an ad hoc "Rendezvous" chatroom among anybody on
the network, without the need for an external service like AIM or Skype.
Ad hoc network-hosting functionality is built in to the Wi-Fi menu.

Windows computers have several third-party ad hoc chat applications
available (such as Trillian) and setting up an ad hoc Wi-Fi network is
almost as simple as on a Mac.

Linux operating systems, of course, have plenty of third-party apps
available, and most distros have ad hoc network-creation support built

Get satellite access You can have very, very slow internet if you have
something similiar to an Iridium phone, which would allow you to do dial
up at 2400 baud, which at least gives you e-mail. This will also work
when your government has shut down GSM and telephone access, and will
work pretty much anywhere on the planet. If you're in the right place,
get yourself KA-SAT access ( which
is satellite broadband and will not be routed through any internet
exchange that certain local governments may monitor or block (unless
that government is part of EU or er ... Uncle Sam.

Packet Radio Back to the '90s: There do exist shortwave packet-radio
modems. These are also excruciatingly slow, but may get your e-mail out.

Back to Basics Have an air horn or other loud instrument handy. It may
just come down to being able to alert people in your local geographic
area, who would otherwise be unaware of an emergency. You may also want
to learn a bit about Morse code and have a cheat sheet available.

Additional Resources- The online activist group known as Anonymous has
posted a crowd-sourced document titled "20 Ways to Circumvent the
Egyptians Governments' Internet Block" that includes specific
connectivity details like ham radio frequencies and ip addresses for
social networking sites.

Same one I just printed up there..