Syria Plugs Off The Internet

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Syria Plugs Off The Internet

Syria’s violet, bloody civil war has now spilled over into the virtual world. Most lines of communication with the outside world have been cut off—including the Internet.

Internet connections to the nation have been down for several hours. Those who can post on Twitter said phone lines are also down, and a number of airlines have canceled flights to Damascus. A Twitter user that simply goes by the tag of Anonymous shows a graph of Internet data recorded by Internet company Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:AKAM). At 10:30 a.m. local time in Syria, the line plummets down to zero and then simply flat-lines there. One comment on the post said that text messages are the only form of communication still working in Syria. Also there is now a #SyriaBlackout on Twitter.

Renesys, a firm that runs a grid which monitors all Internet routing data at all times, said none of Syria’s 84 IP address blocks can be reached, so the entire nation has essentially been taken offline. All traffic attempting to reach any online real estate in Syria is undelivered, and traffic attempting to leave Syria can’t get out.

A spokesperson for Renesys said they are investigating, but as All Things D’s Arik Hesseldahl pointed out, whenever a similar situation has happened in the past, it was done in an attempt to keep information from getting out of, or into a country. Hesseldahl speculates that this is a sign that Bashar al-Assad’s regime is either worrying about the way the rest of the world see it, or planning a major event that will be even more violent and bloody than the events of recent days.

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