The Internet effectively went black in Syria Thursday morning as 92 percent of the country’s servers were disconnected. Is President Bashar al-Assad is planning to do the unthinkable?
Research firm Renesys recorded the massive outage at about 5:30 a.m. (EST), noting that all 77 effected networks reached the Internet through one portal: the Syrian Telecommunications Establishment, a telecommunications company associated with the Syrian government.
No information can get into the country, and, worst of all, no information can get out.
A similar blackout occurred in Egypt in January 2011 as protests against the Mubarak regime heated up. The escalation, many say, prompted the Egyptian government to eliminate Internet- and SMS-based communications, ultimately forcing reporters to deliver updates via land lines.
It follows, then, that this most recent blackout may very well be Assad’s first step in a new crack-down against protesters. A successful push-back by the international community, like we saw in August when hacktivist group Anonymous seized control of the Syrian Ministry of Defense website, could make the regime look weak.
A self-disconnect, frankly, is a better public relations move.
You can follow updates on Twitter with the hashtag #SyriaBlackout.
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