Syrians turn to satellites as Internet shutdown continues
The Internet blackout is more complete in Syria than it was during events in Egypt almost two years ago
IDG News Service - Syrians are turning to satellites to communicate as the country's Internet connections are shut down, but instances of jamming are making even that challenging. Google is also allowing people who can find a working phone publish voice messages on Twitter.
Internet connections between Syria and the rest of the world were blocked Thursday, and remained down Friday with websites hosted in the country still not accessible from outside.
The blackout is more complete than when other countries have been cut from the Internet, the content network delivery company CloudFlare said in a blog post.
Some telephone landlines are working, but most information is coming out of Syria using satellite connections for telephony and Internet access, according to Rami Abdurrahman, founder and director at the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
However, the high cost of such connections limits the amount of information, including videos, that can be sent to and from Syria, he said.
Satellites were also one of the ways Egyptians managed to communicate when Internet connections were severed there.
But even communicating via satellites isn't without complications in Syria today.
"There have been quite a few instances of jamming in Syria; a game of cat and mouse with satellite operators," said a satellite industry worker with knowledge of the situation.
People who can find a working phone can use Google's Speak2Tweet to transmit a message via Twitter. The service posts links to audio recordings of the messages left, but does not convert them to text.
Google worked with Twitter to create the service a little less than two years ago, when Internet access was cut off in Egypt.
At the time of writing, 14 messages had been posted in the last 12 hours. The service had not previously been used since July. Of those 14 messages, six were of English speakers saying "This is a test," four were of dance music or other ambient noise, and four were of voices speaking languages other than English.
Human rights campaigning organization Amnesty International is extremely worried about the current situation in Syria, it said in a statement on Friday.
The shutdown of communications may herald the intention of Syrian authorities to shield the truth of what is happening in the country from the outside world, according to the organization.
"It is time to stop war crimes and crimes against humanity, not to commit them behind a wall of silence. Anyone committing such acts should know that they will be held accountable in the future," Amnesty said.
Send news tips and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
- 18 Hot IT Certifications for 2014
- CIOs Opting for IT Contractors Over Hiring Full-Time Staff
- 12 Best Free iOS 7 Holiday Shopping Apps
- For CMOs Big Data Can Lead to Big Profits
- Slideshow: 5 ways to lock down your mobile device
- Slideshow: 10 mistakes companies make after a data breach
- How to rob a bank: A social engineering walk through
- Which smartphone is the most secure?
If you think getting it right from day one is always what matters, you probably haven't been following technology too closely.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Bring Networks and Applications Closer--Cisco ONE
- A series of sweeping trends is placing new requirements on the tried-and-true network model--requiring network infrastructure and applications to communicate. Get the open...
- Lippis Research Reviews the Cisco Catalyst 2960-X
- In this Lippis Report Research Note, Lippis Research reviews the latest edition of the "most popular access switch on the planet" -- the...
- Design Guide--Scaling Up to a Campus-Wide LAN
- Is it time to scale your network environment to a campus wired LAN? Here's the framework you need to set up your LAN...
- Comprehensive Security: Cisco Catalyst 2960 Series
- With a rich and comprehensive set of security features, Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Series Switches can help you address networking megatrends such...
- Be Energy Efficient--The Cisco Catalyst 2960 Series
- How much energy could be saved if all 230 million Layer 2 and 3 fixed managed switch ports sold in 2012 were as... All Government IT White Papers
- Modernizing SAP environments with minimum risk - a path to Big Data Hear from top IDC analyst, Richard Villars, about the path you can start taking now to enable your organization to get the benefits...
- Vblock™ Specialized System for SAP HANA® Overview video from DJ Long about the new Vblock Specialized System for SAP HANA®.
- The Power of the Citrix Mobility Solution, XenMobile Does everything become a smartphone? Or does the smartphone begin to do everything? How can we afford to support BYOD? Rather, how can...
- BYOD Happens: How to Secure Mobility How to navigate the journey of securing mobility, including the BYOD corruption of IT, the top ten mobility strategies, and the mobility management...
- Fighting Fraud Videos: IBM Intelligent Investigation Manager Short videos about IBM Intelligent Investigation Manager (IIM) for Fraud. IIM optimizes the investigation of fraud for customers across many industries in both...
- All Government IT Webcasts
Does your organization offer extensive benefits, cool perks, competitive salaries, opportunities for training and advancement? Then get it recognized!
Nominate your company or another deserving organization for Computerworld's 2014 Best Places to Work in IT list now through Dec. 20, 2013.