Internet Shutdowns


14 June, 2023 06:00 - 16:00 (10 hours)

Local Impact

For a fourth day, Algeria shut 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-hour 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.


From an article by The New Arab:

“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.

Cause Documentation

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).

Data and Analysis

Cloudflare Radar measurements continue to show the ongoing daily shutdowns.

Chart from Cloudflare Radar showing Internet blocking during exams.

A Cloudflare Radar blog post goes into greater detail about the status of individual networks within Algeria.

The Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI) website connectivity measurements continue to show anomalies and disruptions for popular websites, confirming the shutdown is orientated toward specific web services instead of network connectivity. As of this week, news media sites have experienced the most disruptions (186 anomalies and 129 failures) followed by anonymization and circumvention tool (107, 60), human rights issues (70, 70), and LGBTQ+ sites (34, 13). Note social networking sites (14, 17) and E-Commerce (4, 0) ranked eighth and fifteenth among the 31 categories.

Screenshot of web connectivity test from 12 to 15 June showing anomalies and failures for popular websites in Algeria.

As a comparison, here is a profile of the above categories for the week prior (5-8 June).

Screenshot of web connectivity test from 5 to 8 June showing anomalies and failures for popular websites in Algeria.