Friday, February 11, 2011

Mubarak Resigns and Internet Revolution 2.0 successful in Egypt- Egyptians win Freedom with Internet Revolution 2.0

SHARM EL SHEIKH/EGYPT, 18MAY08 - Muhammad Hosn...Image via Wikipedia
The world is witnessing the jubilation, the joy and the achievement of the protesting citizens of Egypt as Egypt's Ex-President Mubarak was reported to have left earlier for Sharam-El-Sheikh with his family and finally handed over his resignation over to the Supreme Council of Armed Forces.

The regime collapsed only a hour ago at around 9.00PM Pakistan Standard Time after a revolution ignited with the Internet and World Wide Web swept Egypt originally as a peaceful demonstration call against lawlessness through a Facebook page setup by an executive of Google as shared in my earlier post.

Congratulations to the citizens of Egypt, the Internet, the World Wide Web and Internet Revolution 2.0! The end of 30 years of Mubarak's rule in Egypt has come to an end by a revolution led by the citizens of the country!

This is only the beginning for Egyptians, they have got rid of the Mubarak regime but are yet to get rid of the corruption, lawlessness, injustice and strengthen the country as well as its countrymen and countrywomen amidst the crimes committed against the people of Egypt!

Al-Mabrook!!!!Mabrook!!!! Congratulations to the protesting Youth, Women, Children, Civil Society, Everyone and Martyrs of Egypt!

Look forward now Egypt!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Egypt and Internet Revolution 2.0 - Did Wael Ghonim trigger an Internet Revolution 2.0? What are the implications for Internet Governance?

CAIRO, EGYPT - JANUARY 30:  Exhausted Egyptian...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
The Google Egypt executive that was detained for over 10 days by the Egyptian authorities, then release to find so much change already taken place including human casualties amidst the protests taking place in the country has appeared amongst the protesting Egyptians as their leader and to what Wael termed as the Internet Revolution 2.0.

 Wael Ghonim is originally a Google executive living in Dubai with his wife and two children. He had gone to Egypt to participate in the protests but was arrested. The reason for his arrest according to the media (CNN here), Wael Ghonim was the trigger point for launching and organizing the initial protests against police brutality and human rights violations happening on Egyptian citizens. This effort evolved the protests in to the present form that have convulsed Egypt for more than over two weeks now. Wael facilitated the protest by creating and administering a Facebook page and/or Facebook group that the media reports is widely credited for calling the first protest on 25th January 2011.

The abrupt reaction of the Egyptian Authorities to clamp down on Wael Ghonim resulted in his being recognized as one of the young revolutionaries and leaders of an emerging youth opposition protesting against the Egyptian Government in the current circumstances. Wael called the Internet as one of the key catalysts and trigger point for the revolution and uprising of the citizens in Egypt terming it as an Internet Revolution 2.0.

AS Wael Ghonim, now being termed as the Che Guevara of the Internet and Web age coins the term with reference to the Egyptian uprising against the authorities, what are the implications for a possible Internet Revolution 2.0 for the rest of the world?
  1. The Internet's evolution, penetration and adoption is triggering new forms of social and economic changes.
  2. These new forms of changes in human society and organization may be termed as Internet Revolution 2.0 that allows human beings from any corners of the world to connect, collaborate, share and organize from anywhere facilitated by various social media tools and platforms to come together and trigger or catalyze change.
  3. This change may be productive or counter productive for historic, traditional or prevailing forms of democratic, dictatorship or monarch governance systems.
  4. The capability for any human being to 'become aware' of his or her negative circumstances and any violations of their basic human rights may be the pressure breaking points to turn towards the Internet and the World Wide Web to connect with other human beings that may in similar conditions within the same community, society, country or region resulting in mutual sharing, finding solutions to common problems or organizing into new groups to seek change.
  5. This new form of networked social organizing to lead, trigger or catalyze change brings new implications for the existent socio, economic and political governance systems.
  6. The Internet Revolution 2.0 is about human rights, mutual human respect, transparency and accountability and moreover, openness and acceptance of change.
  7. For Internet Governance, Internet Revolution 2.0 is an evolving phenomenon especially when the governments, private sector, civil society, researchers and academia across the world have not reached any consensus on the governance of the Internet Revolution 1.0.
  8. Internet Revolution 2.0 has only become apparent with the current affairs of human uprising, protesting, activism, freedom of expression, demand for basic human rights and awareness of their needs in the North African Arab and Middle Eastern countries but what form is this taking remains both a question and challenge.
  9. Some countries are moving towards more openness in governance and government using the Internet and World Wide Web through the phenomenons of Open Government, Open Governance and Open Government Data but it is yet to be determined if Internet Revolution 2.0 will be the reason for wider spread and adoption of such openness through the global network at the speed we are witnessing today.
  10. Yes, an Internet Revolution 2.0 may actually be evolving will we as human beings connected to each other respond to this new global change..........remains the primary question!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

State of in Pakistan - Facebook remains the most used website in Pakistan.

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...Image via CrunchBase
Facebook usage in Pakistan research:
I was recently studying searching and surfing habits of Internet users from Pakistan online and where they usually go to for getting information online and am sharing some of the statistics and knowledge gathered about Pakistan's use of Facebook across various sectors and segments. I also dug deep into how Pakistani companies and brands were using Facebook to promote their services or build relationships with their customers and fans but I will share that information in my next post.

Global statistics:
According to's global statistics page here, over 500 million users are active out of which
50% log on to Facebook in any given day. An average Facebook user has 130 friends and people tend to spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook. The time is usually spent around over 900 million objects that people interact with including pages, groups, events and community pages whereas an average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events.

The average user also creates 90 pieces of content each month sharing more than 30 billion pieces of content including web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc. Facebook is now hosting more than 70 translations its website thus about 70% of Facebook users are outside the United States and over 300,000 users helped translate the Facebook website through the translations application. Facebook also shares that more than 200 million active users of Facebook are accessing the website through their mobile devices constitute twice the population than non-mobile users and 200 mobile operators in 60 countries are working to readily deploy and promote Facebook mobile products

Asian Internet usage statistics:
According to the Facebook statistics page on the Internet World Stats website hereAsia as of 2010 has an approximate population of 3,834,792,852 out of which 828,930,856 are Internet users and out of these 93,584,580 are Facebook users. This represents a 2.4 % (as of August 31, 2010) Facebook Penetration in Asia. The ratio of Facebook users in relation to the total number of estimated Internet users in each country or world region for Asia stands at 11.3%. The total Internet Penetration in Asia stands at 21.6%.

State of Internet usage in Pakistan:
The current registered population of Pakistan stands at 177,276,594 as of 2010. The country is spread out over an area of 880,254 sq km. In the year 2000, Pakistan only had 133,900 Internet users but today Pakistan has over 20,350,000 Internet users as of Jun 2010 with a 11.5% penetration as per ITU statistics. ITU also reports 168,100 broadband subscribers as of June 2009. The Internet user growth rate between 2000-2010 has been 13,716.3 %  and constitutes of about 2.2 % of the total Internet users in Asia. Thus the Internet penetration rate according to percentage of total population is an approximate 10.4 %.

According to the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority PTA as reported by here, the latest statistics for Broadband subscribers in Pakistan stand at 10,00,000 (1 Million) respectively. There were1.052 million broadband subscribers in October 2010, up from 994,911 subscribers in September 2010. DSL companies added the most subscribers for broadband and stood at 516,167 subscribers in October 2010, up from 488,946 in September 2010.

EvDO service providers totaled 15,540 subscribers in one month, while WiMAX companies added a total of 14,066 subscribers in the month. Total number of WiMAX subscribers in the country has hit 306,665 mark, up from 292,599 a month ago. According to, DSL remains the top technology used for broadband internet in the country, while WiMAX stands seconds. EvDO is swiftly adding its share for the broadband subscribers.

State of Facebook keyword search on Google by Pakistani Internet users:
According to Google insights for search terms here, Facebook remained the third highest search term searched by Pakistanis through over the last 12 months. It also remained the second highest searched term for the past 30 days here from 7th January to 7th February 2011 and during the last 7 days, it remains as the third most searched term on Google from Pakistan here with the Internet user population of the city of Lahore in Punjab, Pakistan standing as the highest searching region for this search term.

Pakistan amongst top global 30 Facebook user countries:
Pakistan remains at the tail amongst the 30 fastest growing Facebook user countries in the world at position number 29 as of 7th February 2011. The total number of Facebook users in Pakistan are 3,65,3140 adding a total of 1,448,920 users in the last 6 months depicting 39.66% growth and penetration at 2.06%. During the past week, over 45,280 users have joined Facebook from Pakistan depicting a 1.24% growth.

Pakistan's 3,653,140 Facebook User Population's Age and Gender Distribution:

  1. 4% Pakistani Facebook users are between the ages 13-15 = 146,126 users
  2. 6% Pakistani Facebook users are between the ages 16-17 = 219,189 users
  3. 52% Pakistani Facebook users are between the ages 18-24 = 1,899,633 users
  4. 29% Pakistani Facebook users are between the ages 25-34 = 1,059,410 users
  5. 6% Pakistani Facebook users are between the ages 35-44 = 219,185 users
  6. 1% Pakistani Facebook users are between the ages 55-64 = 36533 users
  7. 1% Pakistani Facebook users are between the ages 65-+ = 36533 users

The 3,653,140 Pakistani Facebook user audience's Gender distribution comprises of:

  1. 68% Males
  2. 32% Females.

* In terms of Facebook based advertising, Pakistan stands at the 118th position amongst the list of countries that advertise through Facebook with the Average Cost Per Click CPC is US$0.16 and the Average Cost Per Mile CPM is US$0.7.

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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Egypt Crisis - Egypt is burning and the Internet is burning with Surveillance, Spying and Tracking citizens and Internet users.

ControlImage by sciondriver via Flickr
Earlier last year, the Network World website revealed an important piece of news here about a US based company called NARUS that develops traffic intelligence technology developing a scary sleuth for social media. The technology code named "Hone" technology worked with an application NarusInsight to connect different profiles to one person.

The company and its sneaky technologies came into world knowledge again as Al-Jazeera's recent report about the recent Internet shutdown in Egypt gives facts about this US based Boeing's sister company called NARUS located in Sunnyvale California played an important role in burning and shutting down the Internet Egypt by providing the DPI Deep Packet Inspection technology to the Egyptian government.

Network World has already shared this information here last year. The technology by Narus involving DPI allows governments to monitor Twitter, Facebook and Cell Phone account users. The tools provide governments the opportunity to surveillance their citizens as well as control the Internet and shutting down the Internet when and where required.

So what is DPI? According to a wikipedia entry here, Deep packet inspection (DPI) is the act of any packet network equipment which is not an endpoint of a communication using non-header content (typically the actual payload) for some purpose. This is performed as the packet passes an inspection point, searching for protocol non-compliance, viruses, spam, intrusions or predefined criteria to decide what actions to take on the packet, including collecting statistical information.

The technology is a bit different from the traditional DPI applications where it also allows governments to monitor criticisms by their citizens against them. This makes it a very dangerous technology and originally Internet Spying is illegal according to the US laws. According to the Huffington Post's article here, the technology is being used in Pakistan, by the Kuwaiti Wataniya Telecom, an Indian Telco, Saudi Arabian authorities etc.....

Timothy Karr of Free Media wrote through Huffington Post that Narus provided Egypt Telecom with the Deep Packet Inspection equipment (DPI) used to shut down the Internet. Naras content-filtering technology allows network managers to inspect, track and target content from users of the Internet and mobile phones, as it passes through routers on the information superhighway. Other Narus global customers include the national telecommunications authorities in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, two countries that regularly register alongside Egypt near the bottom of Human Rights Watch's world report. Huffington Post also shares that Steve Bannerman, Narus' marketing VP shared in an interview with Wired that, "Anything that comes through [an Internet protocol network], we can record. We can reconstruct all of their e-mails along with attachments, see what web pages they clicked on, we can reconstruct their [voice-over Internet protocol] calls."

Well, the Egyptian Internet and communications shutdown also sent a message across the world when OECD reported here that blocking Internet cost Egypt at least $90M. I guess its not only that, it also cost Egypt its reputation in the global communications and Internet arena especially after hosting the Internet Governance Forum in Sharam-El-Sheikh in 2009 and the ICANN Public Meetings!

So the citizens on the Internet across the world have become aware of how they are being spied upon and what is the technology being used to spy on them. This becomes a major issue for discussions during upcoming Internet Governance Forum 2011 in Kenya.