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[liberationtech] SECDEV: The internet in Syria: down, but not out

Rafal Rohozinski r.rohozinski at psiphon.ca
Wed May 8 21:10:00 PDT 2013





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The internet in Syria: down, but not out

On 7 May 2013, Syria disconnected from the global internet for the third time since the beginning of the conflict. On 8 May, internet connectivity was restored. While analysts continue to speculate as to the cause of the disconnect, uncertainty remains.

The internet blackout did not come as surprise to those actively monitoring Syria’s digital space. On 26 April 2013, SecDev’s Syrian Operation Group tracked two Twitter accounts warning of an impending blackout at the beginning of May.

The Syrian Arab News Agency reports that the internet was cut off due to a malfunctioning optic cable which was repaired as quickly as possible. According to a SecDev field source, the internet outage was due to a damaged cable north of Damascus near the city of Harasta.



However, according to SecDev cyber analysts, a damaged cable alone should not have caused the Border Gateway Protocols (BGP) routes for netblocks to be withdrawn. Rather, the fact that these routes disappeared suggests that the regime ordered the disconnect for reasons that are unknown. Analysts have previously speculated that internet shutdowns have been used to prevent communications amongst rebel groups. Alternatively, the shutdown could have been used to install new monitoring equipment.

Read the Flash Note for more information:
http://gallery.mailchimp.com/eb7c0bde6ff78e88f9b0c8662/files/Syria_flashnote_8May2013.pdf

SecDev Flash Notes are produced by the Syria Operations Group as part of an ongoing activity to support the safety and security of the Syrian people and to enhance the free flow of information in Syria. This activity is managed by The SecDev Foundation, a Canadian not-for-profit organization, with funding from granting bodies in North America.
 



To access our work on Syria, please visit the following links:
For a collection of previous Flash Notes and Briefings, please visit our website's publication page.
Syria Digital Security Monitor - this interactive mapping geographically and temporally maps digital security and infrastructure reports using various technical and non-technical means.
Syria Digital Security Project - this provides information and communication security resources, tools and services to communities and individuals in Syria.
Our Syria Facebook page provides reporting on digital security events in Syria.
 


About This Project

The Syria Digital Security Project seeks to improve the online safety and security of the Syrian people, and to enhance the free flow of information in Syria. To this end, it provides information, analysis, tools and resources dedicated to enhancing digital safety and openness in Syria. The project is administered by The SecDev Foundation, a Canadian not-for-profit organization, with funding from granting bodies in North America.




About The SecDev Foundation

The SecDev Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that seeks to broaden global public awareness and understanding in three core programme areas: cyber empowerment; the sources of security and resilience; and armed violence prevention and reduction. The SecDev Foundation supports local partners, research and advocacy in regions at risk from fragility, violence and underdevelopmentin Asia, Africa, Eurasia, the Middle East and Latin America.




Copyright © 2013 The SecDev Group, All rights reserved.
We send emails to our clients, partners, and those otherwise interested in our work.

The SecDev Group
45 O'Connor Street, Suite 1150
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 1A4
Canada

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