November 29, 2012 - The research firm Renesys, which keeps track of the status and health of the technical underpinnings of the Internet around the
world, just reportedthat at 10:26 UTC this morning — which, by my watch, would have been 5:26 am ET — effectively all of Syria’s international
Internet connectivity shut down.
More technically, what happened was that within the global routing table, all 84 blocks of IP addresses assigned to Syria have gone unreachable. That
means that Internet traffic destined for that country is going undelivered, and also that traffic coming from within it cannot get out to the
Renesys is still investigating what’s going on, but, as we’ve seen in other countries, cutting off the Internet is usually meant to try and
control the flow of information to the world. It’s also a pretty sure sign that the regime of Bashar al-Assad is either getting nervous about how it
is being perceived in the world, or that it is planning something unspeakably harsh in the coming days and wants as little information emerging from
that country as possible.
People on Twitter are starting to notice. And hashtag #SyriaBlackout is showing up:
Can’t call Syria. Scary blackout, as if things can get scarier still. #Syria.#SyriaBlackout
So I’m not the only one not getting through RT @BSyria: Can’t call Syria. Scary blackout, as if things can get scarier still. #SyriaBlackout
The Associated Press (via the Seattle Times) has a report citing Syrian activists saying that the government has cut off Internet and wireless phone
connections in and around several neighborhoods of the capital city of Damascus. There have been some clashes there between government forces and the
Reuters is reporting that there has been some heavy fighting along a road leading to Damascus International Airport, southeast of the city. The road
has been closed, and Dubai-based Emirates Airlines has suspended flights in and out of there for now.
The AP is now reporting in a Beirut-datelined story (Via The Washington Post) that Akamai has confirmed Renesys’ findings describing a “complete
Akamai Tweeted this about an hour ago:
Obviously this will be compared to previous actions by governments in Egypt and Libya where popular uprisings, some more violent than others, toppled
authoritarian regimes. In Egypt in particular, world outrage ticked up significantly and people sought different alternative methods to help
protesteters in Tarhir Square and elsewhere coordinate their efforts. Eventually the Internet came back on but it was only a small step in the right
direction for that country.
Now Google has confirmed what Renesys and Akamai are seeing.
(visit the link for the full news article)