Syria Internet service said to be restored

The service was reported to have been cut on Friday

The Internet in Syria was back on Saturday, a day after it was reported that two-thirds of Syrian networks had been cut off from the rest of the world in the wake of civil unrest in the country.

The Internet shutdown was criticized on Saturday by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who issued a statement saying the U.S. was deeply concerned by reports that Internet service was unavailable across much of Syria, and that some mobile communication networks were offline as well. "We condemn any effort to suppress the Syrian people's exercise of their rights to free expression, assembly, and association," Clinton said in the statement.

Seven of the 40 networks that were earlier unreachable returned around 19:00 UTC (22:00 local time Friday night in Damascus). The development was reported by Renesys, a firm that studies Internet traffic flows, via its blog on Saturday. The rest came back shortly after 04:00 UTC (07:00 local time Saturday morning), it said.

Renesys reported on Friday that starting at 3:35 UTC (6:35 am local time) on that day, approximately two-thirds of all Syrian networks became unreachable from the global Internet. Over the course of roughly half an hour, the routes to 40 of 59 networks were withdrawn from the global routing table, it said.

The network prefixes that remained reachable include those belonging to the Syrian government, although many government websites were slow to respond or down, Renesys said.

The networks that were not reachable included the prefixes reserved for SyriaTel's 3G mobile data networks, and smaller downstream Internet service providers, Renesys said.

The shutdown seemed to be in anticipation of a crackdown on Friday that resulted in Syrian forces killing a large number of protesters, according to reports. Syrians have been protesting against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad.

Syrian officials were not immediately available for comment on the Internet cut.

Cutting off the Internet has become common in many parts of the world where governments are facing unrest, much of it planned over online social networks and messaging services.

Egypt cut off its Internet connections from the rest of the world in January after protests broke out in the country. In February, the Libyan government resorted to similar tactics.

If Egypt and Libya's Internet outages are any guide, one might conclude that events on the street in Syria are reaching a tipping point, Renesys analyst James Cowie said on the blog on Friday.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags regulationgovernmentinternetInternet service providersRenesys

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?