Thursday, November 29, 2012

Syria now completely cut off from Internet, says a second web monitoring company

Renesys, and now Akamai report that all Syria's IP blocks are offline. From the Washington Post:

Still, maybe one question here is why Syria didn’t do this sooner... One possible explanation is that Syria has been far more assertive online, using it as a tool for tracking dissidents and rebels, and sometimes even tricking them into handing the government personal data using phishing scams. President Bashar al-Assad has a background in computers, unlike the much older Hosni Mubarak and Moammar Gaddafi, and once even directly mentioned his “electronic army.” Assad’s regime may have seen opportunity as well as risk on the Web, where perhaps the Egyptian and Libyan authorities saw primarily a tool of the uprising. Or, perhaps the Syrian simply feared the economic consequences of an Internet blackout, or lacked the means to conduct it.
     The Syrian government has not claimed responsibility for the blackout, so it remains possible that another group or actor is responsible, although it’s not clear who would have the capability to close down Internet access so widely and rapidly.

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