Leaders React to Communication Blackout at World Economic Forum in Davos [VIDEO]

As protests in Egypt continued to intensify and get more violent, leaders gathered in Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum addressed the protests and communication shutdown in the country.

Speaking to reporters at the Forum, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned Egypt’s authorities for the Internet takedown, warning that “freedom of expression should be fully respected.” He said the decision to cut Internet access off prior to planned protests was against democratic principles of expression and association.

However, what is clearly absent from the forum are members of the official Egyptian delegation, who pulled out from participating just before it started. Participants of the exclusive gathering generally avoided discussing the Egypt protests in panels, but concerns around the unrest were still a topic of discussion for attendees.

Vittorio Colao, CEO of Vodafone Group PLC, a telecommunications company, said in a session on mobile devices that Egyptian authorities asked his company to “turn down the network totally,” which the company had to comply with because of Egyptian law, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Delegates also discussed, in interviews with CNN, whether the “social media-led” unrest in Egypt was a growing trend in Africa and the Middle East:

Interestingly, a panel on “Leading in a Hyper-Connected World” addressed how a connected world is enabling people who share common values to be more engaged. It also asked how governments and businesses should operate in a hyper-connected world. And that’s a question we’d love for our readers to discuss in the comments below.

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