In the wake of protests in January 2011, Egypt's government, led by President Hosni Mubarak, decided to just say no to Twitter and Facebook for its citizens--then turned off Internet access entirely for almost a week with the help of the country's four ISPs.
As InformationWeek's Mathew Schwartz reported, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a think-tank based in Paris, estimates that the blackout cost Egypt's economy about $90 million, or $18 million per day, comprising 3% to 4% of the country's economic output. Mubarak was forced out in February after several weeks of violent protests and is awaiting trial on a variety of charges.
The "Arab Spring" of protests was one reason that Time just declared The Protester its person of the year, 2011. --Laurianne McLaughlin