Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Internet Coming Back to Syria

syria380After about 20 hours, the Internet is coming back on in the war-torn nation of Syria.

The change has been reported by two organizations: Syria Digital Reports, a project of Canada’s SecDev organization; and BGPmon, a company which monitors the Border Gateway Protocol information of the Internet’s underlying infrastructure. They both have noticed the country’s Internet connections humming back to life within the last hour.


BGP routes back in #Syria, 60 of 67 netblocks have returned to connectivity as of around 16:00 local time #Syriablackout
@DSRSyria
SyriaDigitalReports


After an almost 20 hour outage Syria just came back online at 14:12 UTC today. Also see pic. http://t.co/6hqobsFdeO
@bgpmon
BGPmon.net

BGPmon tweeted the following graphic that it says shows the country’s routing infrastructure coming back online:

bgpmon-50813

Google’s Transparency report data is also ticking upward.

Meanwhile, there has been at least one vague claim that the loss of connectivity wasn’t the result of a Syrian government order. It comes from Anonymous, the loose affiliation of hackers who are better known for making noise and calling attention to themselves than for actually hacking anything in a meaningful way. I’ll believe it when I see some convincing evidence, so take this one with a grain of salt, but here’s its latest tweet on the subject:


SYRIAN INTERNET SHUT DOWN. THIS WAS NOT AN ACT OF THE SYRIAN GOVERNMENT.
@Anon_Central
Anonymous Operations

Clarification: I revised the story above to clear up any implication I may have made that the SecDev Organization’s Syria Digital Reports project is connected to BGPmon. They’re not connected, but the way I initially wrote it made it seem that they were. Sorry about that.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik