Internet- CC via Pixabay/geralt
CAIRO – 1 November 2019: Four days ago, the world was celebrating the 50th anniversary of the birthday of internet’s nucleus, the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET), the fetus of online web that helped Arab spring protests swept through the Middle East 40 years later.
Late 1960s, the US Defense Department (Pentagon) had funded a project to link all computers at pentagon’s affiliated research institutions via telephone lines, the project that resulted in the birth of ARPANET.
ARPANET aimed to remotely connect all institutions in a way to avoid possible attacks against headquarters during the World Cold War.
The Internet has become nowadays a quintessential service in peoples’ lives worldwide, turning the universe into a small village as more than 4,3 billion out 7.7 billion of world population are using the internet as of April 2019, representing 56.8 percent of population, according to latest data issued by Internet World Stat.
The most commonly used languages by the users is English as 25 percent of population use it. Chinese language ranked number two with 19.3 percent of the users, Internet World Stat report said. Spanish and Arabic languages come in the third and fourth ranks respectively; the users in Arabic language represent 5.2 percent of the population, the report added.
Internet has become common in the Middle East in late 1990s; since then, the number of the users has been substantially increased specially amid the usage of social media platforms, Mahmoud Hanaa, an Egyptian programmer told Egypt Today.
“For instance, the number of Egyptians who were using the internet before the January 25 Revolution reached around 10 million people. However, the number raised to 40 million people owing to the revolution,” he said.
He, whoever, added that owners of internet companies in the Arab world face the problem of closure due to the absence of economic feasibility of their own companies, attributing the reasons to the cheapest prices of advertisements in the region.
Internet and social media platforms of Facebook and Twitter played a vital communication role among Arab youth who protested against ruling dictators, starting from Tunisia, to Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Syria.