ONTD Political

Uh oh: Syria Has Disappeared from the Internet

1:22 pm - 11/29/2012
The research firm Renesys, which keeps track of the status and health of the technical underpinnings of the Internet around the world, just reported that 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 world.

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


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 rebels.

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 outage.”

Akamai Tweeted this about an hour ago, including an image:

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.

Google has confirmed that Syria's internet is cut off.

Source has screencaps of tweets on the issue.

Sorry about the source, mods, fixed now
kitanabychoice 29th-Nov-2012 09:37 pm (UTC)
Summed up in a word: scary.
luminescnece 29th-Nov-2012 09:41 pm (UTC)
D: Yes.
caterfree10 30th-Nov-2012 12:15 am (UTC)
Mm hm.
flyghosh 30th-Nov-2012 06:45 pm (UTC)
Yup. Very much so.
cozmic_oceanz 29th-Nov-2012 09:44 pm (UTC)
endlos_schleife 29th-Nov-2012 09:57 pm (UTC)
this can't be good.
tabaqui 29th-Nov-2012 10:14 pm (UTC)
Oh, that does not bode well. Crap.
cuterabbit33 29th-Nov-2012 10:37 pm (UTC)
This is terrible on its own, and it can only lead to worse things.
callmetothejedi 29th-Nov-2012 10:44 pm (UTC)
365reasonswhy 30th-Nov-2012 12:58 am (UTC)
Scary and worrying.
the_gabih 30th-Nov-2012 01:02 am (UTC)
Well, fuck.
homasse 30th-Nov-2012 01:38 am (UTC)
This is every kind of not good.
yamamanama 30th-Nov-2012 02:26 am (UTC)
Why now, I wonder?
yamamanama 30th-Nov-2012 05:11 am (UTC)
I'm hearing about anti-personel mines on the border.
abiding 30th-Nov-2012 06:00 am (UTC)
I just heard about this. What the fuuuuuck.
karma_aster 30th-Nov-2012 06:24 am (UTC)
Scary. What the hell is going on there that they don't want us to see?
tamingheadfauna 30th-Nov-2012 06:38 am (UTC)
Whatever is going on, a total black out *can't* be good.

I'm wondering if we have any news coming out of there from journalistic sources or even Al Jazeera?
tsu_ 30th-Nov-2012 06:47 am (UTC)
oh my god

[rant] this is why i believe people should switch to mesh networks with communal out-bound routers with inter-level frequencies because it means that we AREN'T reliant on govt/corporations for our connectivity. if a large scale mesh network existed neither megaupload nor this could happen [/end rant]
pleasure_past 30th-Nov-2012 09:53 am (UTC)
Wow. This is scary. Could a skilled hacker get around it?
slurp 30th-Nov-2012 01:32 pm (UTC)
wtf though
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