Google exec freed from Egyptian custody
Google confirms release of regional product manager Wael Ghonim
Computerworld - Google executive Wael Ghonim has been released from government custody in Egypt today, and he has already tweeted about his freedom.
Ghonim, who has been held in government detention since Jan. 28, is based in Cairo and works as a regional product and marketing manager for Google. He's also an Internet activist who has reportedly helped run social networking sites critical of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
"It is a huge relief that Wael Ghonim has been released," said a Google spokesman in an e-mail to Computerworld. "We send our best wishes to him and his family."
Earlier today, Ghonim reached out to his Twitter followers, tweeting, "Freedom is a bless that deserves fighting for it."
He later posted on Twitter that Dr. Hosam Badrawy, the new head of Egypt's ruling National Democratic Party, was responsible for his release. It's not yet clear what role Badrawy played in any negotiations for Ghonim's release.
Ghonim was allegedly seized by Egyptian plainclothes police officers during a street rally on Jan 28. News agency Al-Jazeera posted a video of a man being grabbed and forcibly led away from the people he had been marching with. While Al-Jazeera posted a statement saying it couldn't be sure the person being detained was Ghonim, the video has remained up on the news site.
Looking for dramatic governmental change, protesters took to the streets of Cairo and other Egyptian cities late in January.
The government was quick to issue an order that to cut Internet access in the country, in an apparent attempt to keep information from getting in or out of Egypt. Protesters had been using social media sites, particularly Facebook and Twitter, to organize.
Five days later, reports emerged that Internet access was being restored.
Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her e-mail address is email@example.com.
- Internet shutdown 'will never happen again,' says Egypt's IT chief
- Social networks credited with role in toppling Egypt's Mubarak
- Google exec freed from Egyptian custody
- Why there's no such thing as an 'Internet kill switch'
- Amid protests, Egypt's tech chief goes to work
- Egyptian activist: Internet shutdown backfired
- The Internet kill switch that isn't
- Blocking Internet cost Egypt at least $90M, says OECD
- Update: Egypt restores links to Internet
- Egypt reverses 'kill switch' to restore Internet access
Read more about Web Apps in Computerworld's Web Apps Topic Center.
- Six Ways Your Small Business Can Save with Internet Phone Service Traditional phone systems present two main problems for businesses: limited features and high costs. As a result, small businesses are migrating to Internet...
- Face Time Anytime Real-time communications facilitates team collaboration from nearly anywhere in the world. With facts and figures you can use to justify an investment
- Now is the time to implement a video conference solution Video conferencing is getting a lot of buzz lately due to the recent cost decrease, making it tangible for many law firms. It's...
- Video drives engagement Achieving maximum results means building a solid platform and network infrastructure. As digital age unfolds, it's clear that the ability to communicate effectively...
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users?
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy... All Web Apps White Papers | Webcasts