Activists in Syria reached Thursday by satellite telephone confirmed the unprecedented blackout, which comes amid intense fighting in the capital, Damascus.
Renesys, a US-based network security firm that studies Internet disruptions, says Syria effectively disappeared from the Internet at 12:26 p.m. local time.
Syria has reportedly cut off all access to the Internet according to Akami and web monitoring firm Renesys. In a short blog post, Renesys said that “all 84 of Syria’s IP address blocks have become unreachable, effectively removing the country from the Internet. Monitoring firm Akamai has also confirmed that no traffic is getting in or out of Syria. The BBC is reporting the mobile service has also been cut off.
Syria has partially cut Internet connections during the 20-month uprising against President Bashar Assad but a nationwide shutdown is unprecedented.
A Google Transparency Report page shows that Google traffic to Syria appears to have been cut off Thursday morning.
Deposed Egyptian president Hasni Mubarak famously cut off Internet and mobile phone service in Egypt at the height of the Arab Spring demonstrations that led to his ouster. Although he was successful in getting the Egyptian carriers to cooperate, some Egyptians still managed to get online by making international data calls from old-fashioned telephone modem lines.
According to Reuters, some Syrian activists have been using satellite phones, which can’t be easily cut off by domestic authorities. A recent article in the Atlantic said that the U.S. State Department provided 900 satellite phones have been distributed “and 1,000 activists have been trained to use the equipment.”
Source - Forbes/Reuters/