Syria's President Assad attends the final session of an Arab summit in Doha
Syria's President Assad attends the final session of an Arab summit in Doha Reuters

The Syrian government shut down most of its Internet services on Friday as protests against President Bashir al-Assad increased.

According to the Internet monitoring organization Renesys, starting from 6:35 a.m. local time, on Friday, two-thirds of all Syrian networks were suddenly 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 Over the course of roughly half an hour, the routes to 40 of 59 networks were withdrawn from the global routing table, the organization said.

On the other hand, Renesys said that the reachable one-third networks belonged to the Syrian government. Renesys' chief technology officer, James Cowie said the network prefixes that remain reachable include those belonging to the Syrian government, although many government websites are slow to respond or down.

The Oil Ministry is up, for example, and Syrian Telecom's official page, but the Ministry of Education is down, as is the Damascus city government page, and the Syrian Customs website, he noted.

According to the local network of activists in Syria, security forces killed more than 60 people in Hama, and over 50,000 people marched in the city’s largest protest at the same day.

Human rights organization, Amnesty International pointed out that in some North African and Middle Eastern countries, a critical battle is happening in the world of Internet and mobile-phone networks.

Renesys updated that around 10 p.m. local time, seven of 40 networks returned and the rest came back after 7 a.m. on Saturday.