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(Reuters) –
Google Inc launched a special service to allow people in Egypt to send
Twitter messages by dialing a phone number and leaving a voicemail, as
Internet access remains cut off in the country amid anti-government

"Like many people we’ve been
glued to the news unfolding in Egypt and thinking of what we could do to
help people on the ground," read a post on Google’s official corporate
blog on Monday.

The service, which
Google said was developed with engineers from Twitter, allows people to
dial a telephone number and leave a voicemail. The voicemail is
automatically translated into an audio file message that is sent on
Twitter using the identifying tag #egypt, Google said.

said in the blog post, titled "Some weekend work that will (hopefully)
enable more Egyptians to be heard," that no Internet connection is
needed to use the service.

It listed three phone numbers for people to call to use the service.

social networking services like Twitter and Facebook have been
important tools of communications for protesters in Egypt who have taken
to the streets since last week to demonstrate against the 30-year rule
of President Hosni Mubarak.

Internet service has been suspended around the country and phone text messaging has been disabled.

source familiar with the matter said Google, whose corporate motto is
"Don’t Be Evil," was not taking sides in the crisis in Egypt, but was
simply supporting access to information as it has done with other
services such as video website YouTube.

YouTube has been streaming live coverage of Al Jazeera’s broadcasts of the events in Egypt.

of the so-called speak-to-tweet messages were featured on Twitter on
Monday. The messages ranged from a few seconds to several minutes and
featured people identifying themselves as Egyptians and describing the
situations in various parts of the country.

government is spreading rumors of fear and of burglary and of
violence," said one of the messages from an English speaker. "The only
incidence of theft and burglary are done by the police themselves."

Google listed the following numbers for people to use the service: +16504194196 or +390662207294 or +97316199855.

(Editing by Bill Trott and Christopher Wilson)