Start A Petition

Syria: Internet and Mobile Communication 'Cut Off'

Science & Tech  (tags: 'CIVILLIBERTIES!', 'HUMANRIGHTS!', ethics, conflict, freedoms, death, government, humanrights, HumanRights, media, politics, middle-east, violence, war, world, society, technology, study, safety, NewTechnology, internet )

- 1965 days ago -
The internet has been cut off and mobile phones have been disrupted in Syria, monitoring firms have said.

Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.


JL A (281)
Thursday November 29, 2012, 8:14 pm

BBC News Technology
29 November 2012 Last updated at 13:02 ET
Syria: Internet and mobile communication 'cut off'
Comments (119)

The internet has been cut off and mobile phones have been disrupted in Syria, monitoring firms have said.

Networking firm Renesys said the country's connection protocols were unreachable, "effectively removing the country from the internet".

Local reports suggested that the internet had been down since early afternoon, and that telephone lines were only working intermittently.

The Syrian government has blamed "terrorists" for the disconnection.

"The terrorists targeted the internet lines, resulting in some regions being cut off," Syria's minister of information told a pro-government television station.

According to activists, it has been known for similar communication cuts to occur in isolated areas before military operations.

Amnesty International has described the reports as "very disturbing".

Renesys, a US-based company which tracks internet connectivity worldwide, said on its blog: "In the global routing table, all 84 of Syria's IP address blocks have become unreachable."

According to its systems, access was disconnected at 12:26pm local time (10:26 GMT).
'Started to dive'

Another US firm, Akamai, also confirmed it was unable to connect with Syria's internet.

Activists were using satellite phones to make contact with the outside world, Reuters reported.

Search giant Google noted that Syrians were unable to access any of its services including YouTube. The video sharing website is a popular place for activists to upload footage from the country.

Psiphon, a Canadian company that produces advanced computer systems for circumventing censorship systems, told the BBC that its monitoring showed the number of people connecting from within Syria had "started to dive" from around midday local time.

Psiphon's system - which requires specialised software - has throughout November been seeing 13-15,000 log-ins per day.

However, at the time of the reported outage, none of its users were able to get online.

Syria has previously seen large outages in July and August this year, each lasting less than an hour and only affecting targeted areas.

During the uprising in Egypt, four major internet service providers were cut off in the country during mass protests against the then-President Hosni Mubarak.
Breaking connections

Egyptians quickly found ways around the blocks, and Google introduced a "speak-to-tweet" service which allowed people to connect to Twitter via the telephone.

In Libya, internet blackouts were common in areas that were at the time still controlled by Colonel Gaddafi.

The exact method being used to cut off the internet in Syria is unknown, one security expert said, but there are clues.

"It looks like they are using the same approach as Libya did," explained Rik Ferguson, vice president of security research at Trend Micro.

"Requests for Syrian addresses are simply timing out - so it's likely to be 'blackholing' or even breaking connections physically by cutting cables or switching things off."

Blackholing is a tactic which involves sending internet traffic into a dead end - rather than its intended destination.
Your comments (119)

This entry is now closed for comments
Jump to comments pagination

All Comments (119)

Order by:
Latest First
Highest Rated
Lowest Rated
Rate this comment positivelyRate this comment negatively
Comment number 119.
Doctor Nuke
4 Hours ago


In Syria's case it is Tartus, the strategic Russian military naval base, the only one besides Sevestopol they happen to control in the region.

As always, the American bourgeoisie elite is plotting to overthrow Russian friendly governments in a bid to spread the evils of their egoistic brand of "democracy" (i.e corporate takeover, Somalian/Iraqi style anarchy, etcetera) to remove Russia.

Rate this comment positivelyRate this comment negatively
Comment number 118.
4 Hours ago

Anyone know if it's normal for there to be no planes flying over Syria at this time?

Or is it down to time of day?

What's normal for the air traffic usually?

Rate this comment positivelyRate this comment negatively
Comment number 117.
29th November 2012 - 23:50

Here is a dark interpretation of what the communications cut off means: Assad is preparing to use chemical weapons. To use chemical weapons is so evil that the Assad regime will deny using them even as they use them. If no one can tell the world that chemical weapons are being used in real time, the regime has deniability.

Rate this comment positivelyRate this comment negatively
Comment number 116.
29th November 2012 - 23:22

No funny cat videos for you, Mr Assad!

Rate this comment positivelyRate this comment negatively
Comment number 115.
29th November 2012 - 23:18

Q. How do you know when a dictatorship is about to end?

A. When they cut access to the net.

Why? Because the net is an essential stabilising force in modern society.

Comments 5 of 119

Show more

Sign in with your BBC iD, or Register to comment and rate comments

All posts are reactively-moderated and must obey the house rules.
More Technology stories

SurfaceMicrosoft prices 'pro' Surface

Microsoft reveals the price of the "pro" version of its Surface tablet will start at $899 (£560) following "modest sales" of a less powerful version.
BPI demands pirate proxy closure
3D printer 'could use Moon rocks'


BBC © 2012 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

Süheyla C (234)
Saturday December 1, 2012, 2:34 pm

JL A (281)
Saturday December 1, 2012, 2:37 pm
You are welcome Suheyla.

Carmen S (611)
Saturday December 1, 2012, 4:54 pm
thanks J.L., wonder what they are planning?

JL A (281)
Saturday December 1, 2012, 5:52 pm
You are welcome Carmen. Good question...I guess we'll have to wait and see? You cannot currently send a star to Carmen because you have done so within the last week.

Ashlyine B. (0)
Tuesday May 21, 2013, 12:25 am
Thanks meant for sharing this type of satisfying opinion, written piece is fastidious, that’s why I’ve read it completely.
reverse phone number search
Or, log in with your
Facebook account:
Please add your comment: (plain text only please. Allowable HTML: <a>)

Track Comments: Notify me with a personal message when other people comment on this story

Loading Noted By...Please Wait


butterfly credits on the news network

  • credits for vetting a newly submitted story
  • credits for vetting any other story
  • credits for leaving a comment
learn more

Most Active Today in Science & Tech

Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of or its affiliates.

New to Care2? Start Here.