On January 25 the streets of Cairo erupted in protest against then president Hosni Mubarak’s repressive Egyptian regime. Over the next 72 hours the government shut down the country’s Internet service and mobile-phone system in an attempt to squelch the rebellion—to no avail: a rich ecosystem of Facebook conversations, Twitter outbursts and chat-room plans had already unified millions of Cairo’s people, who continued the relentless uprising. The government backed down and restored communications to keep the country’s economy on life support, but the masses kept up the pressure until Mubarak resigned 14 days later.