There are several reports that a Google executive based in the Middle East is missing after taking part in the protests in Egypt last week.
Wael Ghonim, whose LinkedIn profile says he’s Google’s Head of Marketing for the Middle East and North Africa, tweeted on January 24th that he planned to take part in the January 25th protests “despite all the warnings I got from my relative and friends.” A few days later, he tweeted about being “very worried” and “ready to die” because “government is planning a war crime tomorrow against people.”
Ghonim’s brother has told the Wall Street Journal that Wael hasn’t been heard from since 6:00 pm Friday. A Google spokesperson tells the LA Times, “We care deeply about the safety of our employees, but to protect their privacy, we don’t comment on them individually.”
Postscript: On a semi-related note, and in light of Egypt essentially shutting down the Internet during the protests, Google and Twitter have partnered on a service they’re calling @speak2tweet, which allows people to tweet via a regular phone connection — no Internet required.
Update, February 7: Ghonim has now been released. See our story, Google’s Egypt Executive, Wael Ghonim, Should Be Released From Egyptian Custody Now.