Twitter Blocked in Egypt: A View From Inside Their Network



I keep various VPSes across the globe for research purposes. One of those locations is in Egypt. So what happens when I do a normal traceroute?

[root@vps01-eg ~]# tracert google.com
traceroute to google.com (74.125.230.81), 30 hops max, 40 byte packets
 1  host-x.com.eg (196.x.x.x)  0.033 ms  0.024 ms  0.017 ms
 2  host-x.com.eg (196.x.x.x)  0.780 ms  0.883 ms  1.091 ms
 3  10.x.x.x (10.x.x.x)  0.691 ms  0.700 ms  0.693 ms
 4  172.x.x.x (172.x.x.x)  1.623 ms  1.613 ms  1.603 ms
 5  172.x.x.x (172.x.x.x)  1.751 ms  2.060 ms  2.055 ms
 6  172.20.2.1 (172.20.2.1)  7.860 ms  7.855 ms  7.846 ms
 7  172.20.3.37 (172.20.3.37)  6.387 ms  7.281 ms  6.525 ms
 8  * * *
 9  * * *
10  64.214.151.81 (64.214.151.81)  140.963 ms  140.328 ms  140.305 ms
11  po2-40G.ar4.NYC1.gblx.net (67.16.132.174)  140.821 ms  143.027 ms  141.632 ms
12  72.14.198.93 (72.14.198.93)  129.329 ms  129.689 ms  129.658 ms
13  216.239.43.114 (216.239.43.114)  187.277 ms  132.211 ms  131.428 ms
14  216.239.46.219 (216.239.46.219)  136.966 ms  136.579 ms  136.060 ms
15  64.233.175.115 (64.233.175.115)  136.051 ms  135.554 ms  135.244 ms
16  74.125.230.81 (74.125.230.81)  134.443 ms  136.053 ms  142.846 ms

But when trying to traceroute to Twitter?

[root@vps01-eg ~]# tracert twitter.com
traceroute to twitter.com (128.242.245.36), 30 hops max, 40 byte packets
 1  host-x.com.eg (196.x.x.x)  0.049 ms  0.037 ms  0.027 ms
 2  host-x.com.eg (196.x.x.x)  0.807 ms  1.028 ms  1.247 ms
 3  10.x.x.x (10.x.x.x)  0.650 ms  0.736 ms  0.784 ms
 4  172.x.x.x (172.x.x.x)  1.942 ms  1.945 ms  1.941 ms
 5  172.x.x.x (172.x.x.x)  2.393 ms  2.391 ms  2.387 ms
 6  172.20.2.1 (172.20.2.1)  8.086 ms  8.091 ms  8.087 ms
 7  172.20.3.37 (172.20.3.37)  10.399 ms  10.519 ms  11.178 ms
 8  * * *
 9  * * *
10  * * *
11  * * *
12  * * *
13  * * *
<continues till timeout>

So basically, it is dropping the connection somewhere in Egypt's national private network. So when Vodafone says that they didn't block twitter – you can believe them… this is a block on the national level. When the government controls the internet this is the risk you run. When reading about the US "Internet kill switch" bill proposed, you should bet your britches it is bad for freedom of speech and bad for the citizens of that country.

IPs and hostnames blocked to protect the innocent.