Syria hit by yet another Internet outage

The country lost online access on Wednesday, according to Internet monitoring company Renesys.


Update: Syrian Internet access has been restored as of about 8:30 a.m. PT. Full story here.

Syria has again been cut off from the rest of the online world.

Internet access for the battle-torn country has been down since Wednesday, 7:01 UTC (12:01 a.m. PDT), according to an update from Internet monitoring firm Renesys. A tweet from Renesys says that BGP (border gateway patrol) is down, inbound traceroutes are failing, and DNS severs and government Web sites are down.

A tweet from the state-run Syrian news agency says that workers are trying to fix the problem and get the Internet back as soon as possible.

Content delivery network Akamai also confirmed the outage via an image showing a flatline in Syrian Internet traffic since early Wednesday. Internet monitoring company Arbor Networks reported the same in a blog post on Wednesday, showing Internet traffic in Syria at virtually zero.

What's behind today's Internet outage? Renesys points to another tweet speculating that it may be related to an upcoming United Nations decision regarding Syria. The U.N. is expected to approve a resolution on Wednesday backing a political transition in the country and condemning the government for its use of heavy weaponry and the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians, according to the Washington Post.

Though such a resolution from the U.N.'s General Assembly doesn't have legal teeth, the Syrian government may still want to stop its citizens from hearing the news.

This latest outage marks the second time since last week that the country has lost its Internet connectivity. On May 7, the Internet was inaccessible to Syrian citizens for more than 19 hours. The government blamed that problem on a faulty fiber optic cable. But a product line director at Akamai called that explanation "unlikely."

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