Photo of exam room with Syrian flag imposed over image

Syria: Exam Season 2023 Internet Shutdowns

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Senior Communication and Technology Advisor, Internet Society
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June 27, 2023

The Syrian Arab Republic has joined Iraq and Algeria in conducting nationwide Internet shutdowns in an effort to curb cheating prior to national curriculum exams. The first of the shutdowns happened between 6:00 and 8:30 local time on 25 June with more expected at the same time over the coming days.

As reported by SMEX, the Syrian government has consistently shut down the Internet during official preparatory and secondary exams (known as Baccalaureate in Syria) since 2015. These shutdowns involve either partial or complete disruption of Internet services or a significant reduction in Internet speed, also known as ‘throttling’.

See data and measurements of all shutdowns in the Syrian Arab Republic since June 2019.

In analyzing the data, it appears that the Syrian government has this time ordered Internet Service Providers to near completely block Internet connectivity for the whole country. For example, measurements from the Internet Outage Detection and Analysis (IODA) project at Georgia Tech show BGP connectivity dropping from 100% to 3% from 2:00 to 5:30 UTC on 25 and 26 June 2023, indicating the shutdown is affecting Internet connectivity.

Chart showing drop in Internet connectivity in Syria on 25 and 26 June 2023

At Internet Society Pulse, we repeatedly discuss the issue of shutting down access to the Internet during exams and how it hinders digital development and online rights. Learn more about exam shutdowns in 2023.

Take action against exam shutdowns. Join the effort to demand authorities guarantee open access to the Internet at all times. Middle Eastern governments must hear our call: #NoExamShutdown!

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Image adapted from original by WOKANDAPIX from Pixabay