Syria Internet 'restored' after blackout | Bangkok Post: tech

Tech >

Syria Internet 'restored' after blackout

  • Published: | Viewed: 619 | Comments: 0
  • Online news:
  • Writer: AFP
- +

Syria's Internet appeared to have been restored on Wednesday afternoon after a two-day blackout, residents and state media said. 

Abu Mahmud, a 20-year-old technician, looks at a laptop in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, on October 7, 2012. Syria's Internet appears to have been restored after a two-day blackout, residents and state media said.

The blackout was blamed by state media on a technical fault, but activists and a watchdog accused the regime of deliberating cutting the connection to shield military operations.

In a breaking news alert, Syrian state television announced internet and communications were back up and running.

Landline phone services between Syrian provinces had also been down since Tuesday, state news agency SANA said.

US tech firms and the US State Department reported the blackout on Tuesday but did not specify any reasons for it. A similar blackout happened last November.

"Internet services and phonecalls between provinces were cut off Tuesday evening because of a fault in optical fibre cables," SANA said before service was restored.

"Efforts are ongoing to fix the faults and to bring Internet and telephone services back up as soon as possible," the agency said quoting a communications official.

Activists who frequently use the Internet to report on violence engulfing their country blamed the authorities for the blackout.

"Even satellite communication devices" used by many anti-regime activists to avoid surveillance "have been slow," a Syrian activist currently out of his country told AFP's Beirut bureau.

"I think the regime has a plan to stage some kind of attack. That's what happens every time Internet goes down," said the activist, an Internet expert who identified himself as Fares.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the blackout appeared to be a deliberate cut to help regime forces carrying out military operations.

The United States also voiced concern.

"We condemn any effort by any group to restrict or eliminate the Syrian people's access to information and communications of any kinds," Patrick Ventrell, the deputy State Department spokesman, said in Washington.

"These shutdowns are hard to attribute to one side or the other, and technical groups are analyzing them. But the regime has a history of restricting the Internet in a range of ways to prevent the Syrian people from accessing and sharing information."

Syria is ranked 176 out of 179 countries in a worldwide press freedom index compiled by international press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

Bangkok Post online classifieds

Try buying & selling goods and properties 24/7 in our classifieds which has high purchasing power local & expatriate audience from within Thailand and around the world.

0 people commented about the above

Readers are urged not to submit comments that may cause legal dispute including slanderous, vulgar or violent language, incorrectly spelt names, discuss moderation action, quotes with no source or anything deemed critical of the monarchy. More information in our terms of use.

Please use our forum for more candid, lengthy, conversational and open discussion between one another.

  • Latest
  • Oldest
  • Most replied to
  • Most liked
  • Most disliked

    Click here to view more comments