Sudan Has 'Cut Itself Off' From Internet

Possibly blacked out by gov't amid riots, says expert
By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2013 11:38 AM CDT
Protesters burn tires and close the highway to northern cities amid a wave of unrest over the lifting of fuel subsidies by the Sudanese government.   (AP Photo/Abd Raouf)
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(Newser) – Amidst deadly riots over its government scrapping fuel subsidies, Sudan has severed its Internet access. Following several reports, Internet monitoring firm Renesys has confirmed that the country "has cut itself off from global Internet," though it's still uncertain whether the government is behind the outage, the Washington Post reports. "If confirmed to be government-directed, this outage would be the largest government-directed Internet blackout since Egypt in January 2011," says a Renesys researcher.

"The fact that it involved multiple distinct Internet service providers at the same time is consistent with a centrally coordinated action," he says, but concedes that it could also be a massive technical failure. Three people have been killed in the riots taking place across the capital of Khartoum since Monday, reports the AFP. Protesters set fire to tires, cars, and even a gas station, and police have responded with tear gas. The fuel subsidies were cut following the secession of South Sudan, which produced 75% of the country's oil, two years ago. Sudan's inflation has since skyrocketed, and fuel costs have almost doubled. (Read more Sudan stories.)

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