Internet Today, Gone Tomorrow: Syria's Internet Connection Cut

David Avery
November 30, 2012

Syria currently does not have access to the Internet.

Starting at 10:26 UTC on November 29, 77 networks experienced an outage – representing 92% of the routed traffic in the country.

Speculation is running high as to what caused the outage. Despite the patchwork nature of the Internet, and how it has entered many aspects of our lives, it is actually a physical thing that can be shut down given enough or specific damage to its infrastructure. Shutting down Web and phone service is a tactic increasingly used by countries to control information within the country, as well as the outside world. 

The current most popular theory is that the Syrian government stopped access to hinder communications between insurgent factions fighting to overthrow the current regime.

Human rights group Amnesty International wrote in a blog post that the outage might stifle any news of atrocities in Syria. Amnesty International Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director Ann Harrison said in a statement.

“As fighting intensifies, particularly around Damascus, we are extremely worried that the news that internet and mobile phone services appear to have been cut throughout Syria may herald the intention of the Syrian authorities to shield the truth of what is happening in the country from the outside world,”

Google is promoting its Speak2Tweet product, which allows those who still have a phone connection to leave voice messages that the company will then tweet. In a release, Google said the service was successfully used during Egypt’s protests last year.

Additional Resources:

Blackout: Syria vanishes from Internet

Syria Internet outage: How it might have happened and what it means

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