Tracing the Syrian Blackout

June 10, 2011 Jim Cowie


Updated Monday morning to include detailed Syrian network map, and include one-second BGP plots during the day of outage. –jim
Thanks to everyone who’s stopped by this week to read about the Internet blackout that affected Syria last Friday. We’re always glad to hear your comments, especially when you fill in some of the missing parts of the story that aren’t obvious from the data.
A lot of the questions we’ve received about Syria this week have speculated about a repeat performance of last week’s Internet blackout. Would the Syrian Internet get shut off again this Friday, as it was last Friday? Would it be visible in the BGP routing table? Would this become a recurring tactic, just another mechanism for crowd control?
Initial data from Google’s transparency report suggest that total traffic was down, even compared to a normally quiet Friday.
But looking at the broader picture, a couple things are clear. First, there was no repeat of last week’s event, in which two-thirds of all Syrian networks became flatly unreachable from around the world, an Egyptian-style disconnection at a very fundamental level. This week, while traffic levels were reduced (perhaps throttled or rate-limited, as in

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About the Author

Jim Cowie

Jim Cowie is the Chief Scientist at Dyn. Previously, Jim was the founder and CTO of Renesys, the Internet Intelligence Authority, which Dyn acquired in 2014.

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