Egypt protesters use voice tweets

Egyptians protesting in Cairo
Image caption The service could give protesters a new way of communicating with the outside world

Google and Twitter have launched a service which circumvents the ban on net services in Egypt.

The so-called speak-to-tweet system allows people caught up in the unrest to post messages without any need to use an internet connection.

The service, which is already live, allows people to dial an international telephone number and leave a voicemail message.

The message is then sent out as a tweet with the hashtag #egypt.

People can listen to messages by dialling the same phone numbers (+16504194196 , +390662207294, +97316199855) or going to a special Twitter page.

Last ISP

Google said its engineers worked with Twitter and its newly acquired voice technology company SayNow over the weekend to set the service up.

"Like many people we've been glued to the news unfolding in Egypt and thinking of what we could do to help people on the ground," said SayNow co-founder Ujjwal Singh on the official Google blog.

Image caption Net access in Egypt has dropped almost to zero

"We hope this will go some way to helping people in Egypt stay connected at this very difficult time," he added.

The last of Egypt's main internet service providers, the Noor Group, became unreachable on Monday, according to reports.

The ISP had managed to stay online after Egypt's other big four net providers stopped sending and receiving traffic on Friday.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites