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Syria's Internet Shuts Down

Networks dark as protests against Assad intensify; 60 dead
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2011 3:31 PM CDT

(Newser) – As protesters took to the streets with renewed ferocity in Syria today, roughly two-thirds of the country’s Internet networks abruptly disappeared from global routing tables, Bloomberg reports. As of this morning, 40 of the country’s 59 networks were unreachable. One state-run site confirmed that the government had “cut off Internet service (3G, DSL, Dial-up) all across the country, including government institutions,” according to ZDNet. Later, the site said Internet was available in some places, but “broken” in Damascus, Aleppo and “the provinces.”

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Syria’s Internet is controlled by the government-run Syrian Telecommunications Establishment, which provides core services to most ISPs, including DSL and dial-up. The shutdown seems to be in response to a call for mass “children” protests over the execution of 13-year-old Hamza al-Khatib. Thousands took to the streets anyway, and gunfire has been reported in multiple places; in Hama, security forces have reportedly killed at least 60. (Read more Hamza al-Khatib stories.)

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