Internet access in Syria has been shut off nationwide, and network watchers Akamai and Renesys have issued charts illustrating the dramatic traffic collapse.
Syria has experienced partial blackouts this year, but this nationwide blackout is unprecedented. It coincides with increased fighting in Damascus, as reported by Associated Press. Reports have also surfaced of land lines and cellphone networks being down.
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Syria State TV is reporting that the outage is due to technical problems, though pro-regime accounts on social media sites have blamed rebels for the outage. Some airlines are canceling flights into Syria's capital city of Damascus.
Such Internet blackouts have been experienced over the past couple of years in the Middle East, including in Egypt and Libya.
Content delivery network provider Akamai has issued a chart that shows the dramatic drop-off in Internet traffic today in Syria just before 10:30 a.m. in that country.
Security company Renesys supports Akamai's observations with charts of its own.
Reneys writes in part on its blog: "Looking closely at the continuing Internet blackout in Syria, we can see that traceroutes into Syria are failing, exactly as one would expect for a major outage. The primary autonomous system for Syria is the Syrian Telecommunications Establishment; all of their customer networks are currently unreachable."
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