Syria' internet disconnects from world as protest gather momentum

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Internet connection has come to halt in Syria after government agencies blocked the internet services to quell the prodemocracy revolt in the nation.

The Internet shutdown severely disrupted the flow of the YouTube videos and Facebook and Twitter posts that have allowed protesters and others to keep track of demonstrations.

Two-thirds of Syria's Internet network went offline at 6:35 a.m. yesterday, said James Cowie, an analyst at Renesys, an Internet analytic firm, in a cascading blackout that took 30 minutes, the Boston Globe reported.

Starting at 3:35 UTC today (6:35am local time), approximately two-thirds of all Syrian networks became unreachable from the global Internet. Over the course of roughly half an hour, the routes to 40 of 59 networks were withdrawn from the global routing table, Internet intelligence firm Renesys reported on its blog today.

Forty of the country's 59 Internet pathways were disabled, including Syria's entire 3G mobile network, run by the country's only telecom provider, Syriatel, which is owned by Rami Makhlouf, Assad's cousin, the Boston.com reported.

The Internet in Syria basically depends on one domestic provider, state-owned SyriaTel. (AS29256 and AS29386). They buy most of their Internet transit from Turk Telekom and Deutsche Telekom, with some contribution from PCCW, Tata, and Telecom Italia. Connectivity has historically come in over submarine cable from Cyprus; activation of new terrestrial fiber connections to Turkey have been delayed by this year's political unrest, Rensys added.

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