Ina Fried

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Parts of Syria Back Online Following Two-Day Internet Blackout

Internet service has yet to be restored to parts of Syria following a two-day outage.

According to a BBC report, the capital city, Damascus, had Internet service as of Saturday.

Internet monitoring service Renesys also confirmed a number of the country’s Internet service providers are back up and running.

“Renesys confirms a largely complete restoration of the Syrian Internet this morning,” Renesys said in a blog post. “Internet service (is) being provided post-restoration by Telecom Italia, Tata Communications, Turk Telecom, and PCCW.”

However, CloudFlare cautioned the restoration of service doesn’t necessarily mean all is well.

“While the network is back online, it’s impossible to know if filtering or
monitoring technologies were installed during the outage,” CloudFlare CEO Matthew Prince said in a statement.

As was the case in Egypt during earlier uprisings, the Syrian outage would seem to be the work of the ruling government aiming to thwart rebel communications.

The outage has again raised concerns for the region and other nations about just how vulnerable they could be to having their key communications cut in a time of political instability.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald