Today Algeria joined Iraq in shutting down the Internet for the country during high school exams. A news report indicates that there will be two outages each day from 11 June through 15 June, a four outage in the morning and a three hour outage in the afternoon.
In analyzing the data, it appears that the Algerian government is engaging in content blocking where the actual Internet connections remain active, but the Internet service providers are ordered to block certain sites.
As we have repeatedly written about here on Pulse, Internet shutdowns cause great harm to a country’s economy and society and are in our opinion NOT the appropriate mechanism to cope with potential exam cheating.
“It’s immature what they are doing. I could not get any work done today which will definitely cost me much,” Ahmed, an Algerian freelancer graphic designer, told The New Arab on Sunday.
Many like Ahmed, missed deadlines for their projects or received a scolding frombosses overseas who did not believe that a country can shut down the internet over a high school exam.
“I wrote a long email explaining to my American boss that I could not work today or give an early notice because the internet was nationwide shut in my country. He thought I was not being serious,” Amira, an Algerian web designer, told TNA.
As noted in a Cloudflare Radar blog post:
A published report indicates that two Internet disruptions will be implemented each day between June 11 and June 15. The first takes place between 08:00 – 12:00 local time (07:00 – 11:00 UTC), with the second occurring between 14:00 – 17:00 local time (13:00 – 16:00 UTC).
Cloudflare Radar measurements show the shutdown that occurred first on 11 June and then on 12 June.
A Cloudflare Radar blog post goes into greater detail about the status of individual networks within Algeria.
Measurements of website connectivity from the Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI) confirm the disruption of connections to specific sites.