An outage at 10:26 a.m. UTC, or 5:26 a.m. ET, shut down all Syrian access to the Web. Phone lines also appear to be down, and airlines are canceling flights.
Syria, ravaged by a vicious civil war, has now lost contact with the outside world.
The Middle Eastern country has been experiencing an Internet outage for several hours, and many people on Twitter are reporting that phone lines are down as well. In addition, some airlines are canceling flights to Damascus.
According to Renesys, which operates a real-time grid that continuously monitors Internet routing data, all 84 of Syria’s IP address blocks have become unreachable, effectively removing the country from the Internet. The outage started at 10:26 UTC (12:26 p.m. in Damascus or 5:26 a.m. ET), and there doesn’t appear to be any end in sight.
The site initially said that 92 percent of the country’s routed networks were offline, but the remainder also eventually disappeared. Renesys said it’s “investigating the dynamics of the outage and will post updates as they become available.”
Shutting down Web and phone service is a tactic increasingly pursued by countries to limit the spread of information both within the country and to the outside world. Egypt and Libya switched off Internet access early in their own uprisings last year, but Syria hadn’t taken the step despite being embroiled in a bloody war for many months now.
The move today could signal even tougher times ahead for…
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