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Robert Gibbs: Egypt Must Restore Social Networking and Internet

robert gibbs' tweet
Yesterday, President Obama and Vice President Biden were somewhat hands-off with the unfolding situation in Egypt -- neither explicitly condemning the Egyptian protesters nor supporting the government -- but the regime's complete blockage of the Internet hasn't gone unremarked upon today. In a recent tweet, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has expressed the White House's feelings about the situation: "Very concerned about violence in Egypt - government must respect the rights of the Egyptian people & turn on social networking and internet."

Other members of the Obama administration have echoed Gibbs' statement. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley tweeted, "We are concerned that communication services, including the Internet, social media and even this #tweet, are being blocked in #Egypt." Alec Ross, an adviser to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, tweeted, "We urge #Egypt govt not to prevent peaceful protests or block communications including social media sites #netfreedom #Jan25."

UPDATE: Moments ago, Secretary Clinton said in a briefing that the Egyptian government must "reverse the unprecedented steps it has taken to cut off communication."

Sen. John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has also released a statement, in which he said, "I call on the Egyptian government and security forces to exercise restraint in dealing with protesters and to respect the human rights of its citizens to seek greater participation in their own government. The Egyptian government also should immediately restore communications and access to social networking sites."

Tags: alec ross, AlecRoss, egypt, egypt protests, EgyptProtests, Hillary Clinton, HillaryClinton, Philip Crowley, PhilipCrowley, pj crowley, PjCrowley, politics, Robert Gibbs, RobertGibbs, top, twitter