Internet blackout begins in Syria

Internet blackout begins in SyriaSyria’s internet connection has been disconnected from the World Wide Web since Tuesday and no authority has claimed responsibility. This is the second time the country is experiencing such a shutdown after the first disconnection occurred in November last year.

Data from Google Incorporation and other global Internet companies have shown no sign of internet activity from the country and Google’s Transparency Report pages showed that internet traffic came to a halt in the early evening hours of Tuesday. Since then, internet signals have not been coming out of the country. Google’s senior manager for free expression doesn’t know how long it will take for the connection to be back but said that “we’ve seen this twice” since the Arab Spring started. Companies monitoring global online traffic said that the action “disconnects Syria from Internet communication with the rest of the world.”

Experts conceive it to be an internal decision because they are yet to “see anything to suggest that the outage was caused by damage to one or another of the several cables that connect Syria with the outside world.” Internet connection in neighboring countries continues to function as usual but most of the Syrian websites remain inaccessible making it probable that shutdown was decided by the country. However, it seems as if Voice Over Internet Protocols are not affected by the shutdown because Google’s Speak2Tweet continues to be accessible to mobile phone subscribers with internet access to broadcast voice messages.

In the past, the Assad regime did restrict telephone and internet service in certain rebel dominated areas to limit the communication between rebel groups during major military operations.

Written by