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Syria Disappears From the Internet

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By Brendan OConnor on November 29, 2012

The Syrian internet has gone dark.

“All 84 of Syria’s IP address blocks have become unreachable, effectively removing the country from the Internet,” according to Internet monitoring site Renesys. According to the AP a second monitoring site has confirmed this.

Akamai tweeted a timeline of web traffic destined for Syrian sites. The precipitous drop takes place at around 10:30 UTC (12:30 in Damascus).


While the Syrian government has instituted partial shutdowns in the past, a complete outage is unprecedented. Syrian activists told the AP that the black out comes amid intense fighting in Damascus.

Hacktivist group Anonymous, ominous as ever, weighed in via Twitter.

Follow @opSyriaIRC and the hashtag #SyriaBlackoutfor more information.

Update 1:45pm EST

The Syrian government has blamed “terrorists” for the Internet blackout, telling a pro-government TV station, “The terrorists targeted the internet lines, resulting in some regions being cut off.”

Twitter user AnonymousPress posted four dial-up numbers that people both in and outside of Syria can use to stay connected:

Now, of course, the question is how to get this information to the people of Syria.

Update 11:00pm EST

As of 9:00pm EST, Hacktivist group Anonymous has officially declared cyber war on the Syrian government, pledging to remove “all web assets belonging to the Assad regime that are NOT hosted in Syria.”

According to a press release — found here — the group believes that Assad has physically severed the fiber-optic and coaxial cables running in and out of Syria.

Via Twitter, Anonymous clarifies where they stand in the conflict:

The websites of the Industrial Bank of Syria and the Syrian embassy in Belgium have both been hacked and are currently still defaced.

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