back to article Google exec 'missing' amid Egypt protests

Google's head of marketing for the Middle East and North Africa has gone missing after joining protests against the Egyptian government, according to report citing the exec's brother. The Wall Street Journal reports that Wael Ghonim – who joined Google in late 2008 – has not been heard from since Friday at 6pm. It should be …


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  1. JaitcH

    If the Google man is so smart ...

    he should know sticking his finger in to the melange that is Egyptian politics can be a very, very dangerous thing.

    Smart people with a high profile should reduce their profile during this period of instability. Tunisia amply demonstrates that both pre and post rumble periods are fraught with danger as people seize the opportunity to eliminate problems, and people, in their lives.

    Good for Google in helping circumvent the communications outages.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Although as one slashdotter pointed out

      "Supporting the revolution - only when it's safe

      Thanks for nothing Google. What about hosting a Wikileaks mirror or allowing donations to Wikileaks via Google Checkout?

      It's so easy to be a revolutionary when you are thousands of miles away from any danger. Twitter is full of Internet revolutionaries sipping coffee at a Starbucks in San Francisco."

    2. Z924

      I suspect he is, and has always been fully aware of the danger...

      I suspect he is, and has always been fully aware of the danger...

    3. Vic

      Seems smart enough.

      > he should know sticking his finger in to the melange that is Egyptian

      > politics can be a very, very dangerous thing.

      As you can see from the article, he seems very well aware of how dangerous it would be to attend these protests.

      He went anyway - not because he misunderstood the danger, but because he considered the goal worth that risk.

      You characterise this behaviour as lack of comprehension. I see it as courage. Not everyone runs and hides when things are getting difficult.


      1. thecakeis(not)alie


        Indeed. I have nothing but absolute shitloads of respect for each and everyone of those protesters. Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan, Burma, Jordan and others have all seen governmental change driven by strong grassroots movements and public dissatisfaction with the status quo. People are tired of the rich getting richer and the poor getting dead. This may become a “contagious” movement. Right now, it seems largely contained to the Arab world…but how long until it spreads to central Europe? From there, is it a big step to hop to the western world?

        That is with the exception of America, of course. They are a little bass-ackwards; the Tea Party is their grassroots movement and is all about the rich getting richer whilst keeping the burden of taxes on the poor. Excluding the US (and possibly China,) I would not be very comfortable with being in charge of any nation right now. Western countries are like to see some interesting political changes in their next election as the youth of the world get bolder.

        Non-western countries might well be in for an Egypt-style revolution. More power to them I say. I would be there right now myself holding up a sign in support, if:

        A) I could get a flight in and

        B) I didn’t feel like it would be taking something (even if it were a small something) away from the Egyptian people.

        There are things in the world worth fighting for. There are things in this world worth dying for. There are things greater than money or power, greater than you, me or any group of people. Those that do not understand what I am talking about likely never will. No explanation will ever be capable of making them comprehend.

        We are lucky here in the Western world; we have the pretence of a democratic system. It’s rigged, of course…but we get the polite pretence that what someone out there is looking out for us. That’s really what’s it’s all about; the feeling that you have some control over your own destiny. Every few years we get that flush of hope; “maybe this group of asshats will do slightly less damage to our society than the last!” What’s more, ever now and again, when things look really bleak…

        …we can actually bend the buggers to our will.

        Go Egypt! Good luck, and for the love of #deity, when you set up your new government, learn from our mistakes! “Of the people, by the people FOR the people.” Remember that. Nowhere in that statement is “big business,” lobbiests, “the rich” or politicians included. :)

  2. Tony Paulazzo
    Big Brother


    You're not part of the solution you're part of the problem.


    My prayers go out to all of them struggling against the Western sanctioned despot.

  3. Ubuntu Is a Better Slide Rule

    الديمقراطية العربية!

    Title is "|ar|Demokratie%20f%C3%BCr%20Arabien%20!"

    Now that our great "leaders" in Europe and the US stick with the tyrant Mubarak, we should help Arabians subvert the tyranny with technology. Or maybe go to the street and let our support know.

    I'll chip in with a short GNU Privacy Guard tutorial in Arabic:

    إخفاء الرسائل الخاصة بك من الحكومة

    gpg --symmetric message.txt

    فك تشفير ملف

    gpg -d message.txt.gpg

    جب أن تكون كلمة السر لا يقل عن 30 حرفا. يجب أن كلمة السر لا تنبع من الكتاب.

    أدخل كلمة المرور لصديقك في مقهى. لا تستخدم الهاتف

    I hope democracy and freedom of expression will grow in Arabia, as it grew in Europe after the french revolution. It took a long time and a lot of mistakes. Please make Ghandi your role model, not Robespierre.

    وآمل أن الديمقراطية وحرية التعبير سوف تنمو في السعودية ، كما نمت في أوروبا بعد الثورة الفرنسية. لقد استغرق الأمر وقتا طويلا والكثير من الأخطاء. الرجاء جعل غاندي قدوتكم، وليس روبسبير.

    Please do not turn to violence. Time will blow away the tyrant.

    الرجاء عدم اللجوء إلى العنف. الوقت سوف يطير الطاغية.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google exec 'missing'

    Just Google for him.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    sticking his finger in to the melange

    He is probably smart enough to realise that he and his countrymen, have a once in a lifetime opportunity to unite and finally overthrow a 30 year old dictatorship.

    1. Tom 13

      The revolution you hope for

      has already been strangled in its cradle by the Muslim Brotherhood, a Hamas-like group of thugs that predates Hamas.

      Yes, Mubarak was a strongman, but he was the best chance for eventual liberalization in the region. He was promoted as a result of assassination and has survived 6 subsequent attempts. That sort of thing tends to color one's outlook, particularly when the reason your predecessor was assassinated was because he sought lasting peace.

      The way this thing is shaping up, Robespierre is going to come out looking like a moderate. Look for the big mushroom clouds in the Middle East real soon.

      1. Ubuntu Is a Better Slide Rule

        @Tom 13: Says Who ?

        Langley ?

      2. thecakeis(not)alie

        @Tom 13

        What are you, a Republican? The Muslim Brotherhood has been hands-off during the entire revolution. They have stated very loudly and publicly that they are flat out /not/ seeking power. They do not want in any way to lead the next goverment.

        I won't claim for a second they aren't bad news...but they seem to have been ****ing smart and stayed int eh background during this whole thing. Instead, we have a nobel peace laurate looking to take over.

        Sounds good to me.

  6. Ubuntu Is a Better Slide Rule

    تكنولوجيا دعم الديمقراطية

    I am currently developing a steganographic tool which will make filtering GPG messages much more difficult.

    If anyone in Arabia needs technology help, please post here. I'll try my best to help you with GPG, TOR, SSL and general advice of securely using computers.

  7. Ian Stephenson

    Comming soon..

    Google RiotView

    Now in Beta in Egypt.

    Mines the one with the lexan visor...

  8. Alister

    Not thought this through...

    "The company has unveiled a service that lets people tweet via a voice connection. Anyone can tweet simply by leaving a voice mail at one of these international numbers: +16504194196 or +390662207294 or +97316199855. No internet connection is required, and the service will automatically add the hash tag "#egypt"."

    That's a very good idea, now, how do we let people in Egypt know about it?

    well, they can see it on the Interweb... ah... no... maybe not then...

    Or I can ring someone... beeeeep... beeeeep... beeeeep...


    Carrier Pigeons!!

    1. Ubuntu Is a Better Slide Rule


      Maybe by doing a few "highly illegal" broadcasts using amateur radio ? Maybe somebody donates the credentials for her SATCOM internet access system to a friend in Arabia ? Improvised Directed WLAN with a Soupcan ? Israeli amateur radio people setting up "higly illegal" microwave links ? (while forgetting their hatred for a couple of days ??)

      I am sure a single high-speed SATCOM uplink coupled to a WLAN mesh could reconnect Cairo again.

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