Internet traffic has come to a halt in Syria after the government blocked Internet services in an attempt to quell a growing revolt in the Middle Eastern nation.
“Starting at 3:35 UTC today, approximately two thirds of all Syrian networks became unreachable from the global Internet,” Internet intelligence firm Renesys reported on its blog today.
“Over the course of roughly half an hour, the routes to 40 of 59 networks were withdrawn from the global routing table.”
Most mobile phone and Internet networks are affected by the blackout. According to The Wall Street Journal, government-run websites such as the Oil Ministry’s website are still operational.
Syria has been banning social media services in the last few months, but this is the full time there has been a widespread Internet outage.
The move comes as protests have intensified in the troubled nation. 34 people were killed Friday after security forces opened fire. The uprising, which began in late January, has been focused on ousting Bashar Al-Assad from his role as President of Syria. Al-Assad ascended to the presidency in 2000 after his father’s 29-year rule.
Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak shut down Internet services during the Egyptian revolution so protesters couldn’t easily organize. It didn’t quell the revolt though, and on February 11, Mubarak resigned.
- Syria Shuts Down the Internet As Revolt Gains Steam (mashable.com)
- Syria condemned after more killings (mirror.co.uk)
- 34 shot dead in Hama as protests sweep Syria (alternet.org)
- Syria’s Internet Blockage Brings Risk of Backfire – Wall Street Journal (news.google.com)
- Syria Has Cut off Internet Access (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)
- Syria Drops Off the Internet As Turmoil Spikes (yro.slashdot.org)
- VIDEO: Can Syria’s Assad cling to power? (bbc.co.uk)
- Factbox: Protests in Middle East and North Africa – Reuters (news.google.com)
- Syria’s Embattled Dissidents Grapple with Government Hackers, Wiretappers and Imposters (Time) (syrianetf.wordpress.com)
- Syrians Protest Alone as West, Military Leave Assad Free Hand (businessweek.com)