Its day 2 of internet blackout in Syria. I was curious about how the government was able to do it in 3 minutes! There are three submarine cable and one overland cable from Turkey providing the ‘pipe’ to the internet in Syria. The speed of the shut-down suggests that they weren’t cut. What probably happened is that the state-run Syrian Telecommunications Establishment shut-down BGP sessions with the worldwide internet. This was easy to do since the internet is a state monopoly in Syria.
My feeling is that the regime is getting desperate in Syria. The same stunt was tried and failed in Libya and Egypt. Internet freedom activists have already set up dial up servers to service Syria. So how easy is it to turn off the internet? Renesys has produced a map showing which countries in the world are vulnerable to having their internet arbitrarily shut-down by the government. Turns out its as simple as having less than ten internet service providers in the country.